W.F. Hermans / W.F. Hermans – A Guardian Angel Recalls: The Cloud of Unknowing

W.F. Hermans – A Guardian Angel Recalls: The Cloud of Unknowing

W.F. Hermans – A Guardian Angel Recalls: The Cloud of Unknowing



Rights sold

  • Archipelago (USA/Canada)
  • Pushkin Press (UK and Commonwealth)
  • Helicon Plus (Russia)

About the book

On the eve of World War II, a public prosecutor, upset because his Jewish lover has fled and left him, runs over a young girl who was residing clandestinely in the Netherlands. He is torn between his sorrow at the loss of his girlfriend and the guilt about the accident, which is surrounded by mysteries that he tries to unravel as the world around him collapses. Meanwhile, he is watched over by his guardian angel, who whispers warnings to him, and the Devil, who makes use of the same exhortations.

In this highly acclaimed, gripping war-time novel, personally dubbed ‘one of the most beautiful novels that I’ve written’, Willem Frederik Hermans shows that human actions are not purposeful, but amount to a string of randomness and error.

Willem Frederik Hermans (1921-1995) is one of the greatest post-war Dutch authors. He left a massive and varied body of work. Before devoting his life to writing, Hermans taught physical geography at the University of Groningen for many years. He started writing and publishing in magazines at an early age. In addition to novels he published short stories, essays, poetry, plays and translations. In 1977 he received the Dutch Literature Prize, the Netherlands’ most prestigious literary honour. His work has been translated into numerous languages. More recently, a stage version of The Darkroom of Damocles was performed in 2015, and his novel Beyond Sleep was adapted for film by a Dutch-Norwegian co-production in 2016. September 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of Hermans’ birth and the start of a year filled with commemorating events.

© Jutka Rona/MAI

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789023436492
  • Number of pages: 416
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €12,50
  • Full English translation available upon request