karel gLASTRA van loon
Karel G. Van Loon

KAREL GLASTRA VAN LOON died in 2005 of a brain tumour, leaving behind a wife and three small children and books to be read and re-read.


'This remarkable Dutch novelist is not just one to watch - he is one to live by.' The Times

The Invisible Ones (De Onzichtbaren)

In the evening we will sit on the veranda and I will tell you about the events that have made me who I am: a blind refugee from Burma in a camp in the Thai jungle. Through my life story I will show you my country, the way you can see the whole garden in a dewdrop.


Min Thien, a lawyer in a sleepy provincial town in Burma, does all he can to avoid confrontations with the military regime of his country. But one bad day he incurs the wrath of the district commander. From that moment on, he is shadowed, intimidated and thwarted. When his wife, after many barren years, becomes pregnant, he decides that he wants a different future for his child. In fleeing his country, he loses everything that is precious to him: his wife, his unborn child, and the sight in the only good eye he had left.


THE INVISIBLE ONES is a gripping novel about the life of a refugee. Hair-raising descriptions of the fate of Burma’s political prisoners alternate with Buddhist mythical stories and moving memories of a carefree childhood. And just like the protagonists in van Loon’s previous novels, Min Thien is also searching for the true nature of love.


'A timely novel by this talented Dutchman, The Invisible Ones, sensitive to the complexities of Burmese life, is as compelling an example of witness fiction as one might find.’ Independent


‘A beautiful novel.’ De Telegraaf

‘A lyrical and evocative portrait’ Irrawaddy


Veen NL (original publisher)


Gustav Kiepenheuer Germany


Norstedts Sweden


Arcadia Books UK & USA


Zalozba Tuma Slovenia


Material: Dutch edition (256 pages); German edition; English edition.

A Father's affair (De Passievrucht)

Winner of the top Dutch literary prize, the GENERALE BANK PRIZE 1999, and a HUGE bestseller (over 250,000 copies sold) in Holland. A beautifully written ode to love that combines the best qualities of a thriller with the delicacy of a love story and always manages to strike the right tone.


A superbly crafted and well-written story of great power: Armin is in his 30s. He has a young son, Bo. Bo’s mother, Monika died when the child was only 3. Now Armin and his new wife, Ellen, want to have children. But Armin is told that he has always been infertile. So, who is Bo’s father? A wonderful novel – in a word, irresistible.


One of those rare novels that perfectly achieves the ideal combination of literary quality and commercial potential.


'A whodunit of the heart, compelling, touching and peculiar.' Michel Faber


'This is a book that knocks Hornby and Parsons and a host of similar male novelists into a cocked hat. Heart-breaking, funny and wry.' Sunday Herald

'When Amsterdamer Armin Minderhout learns that he is infertile, the shock isn't just in discovering he can never have children: it's because he already has a 13 year old son. Which leads to the question of who Bo's father really is. With Bo's mother dead, no one seems able to supply the answer. Haunted by the need to know, Armin embarks on a new quest to discover the truth, regardless of who is hurt in the telling. A bestseller in Holland, Van Loon's novel unwinds with a thriller's pace. As well as tackling the issue of fatherhood, it is also a love story. But at its core is an emotive invitation to paranoia as each stone Armin looks under reveals just how little he knew about the woman he loved - and raises unsettling questions about how much one person can ever know about another.' Observer


'Completely original... combines the finest elements of a psychological thriller and literary read.' Elle, France


'Stunning in its simplicity.' Time Out


'Don't miss this passionate story about love, grief, sex... van Loon is wise, funny, entertaining and profound. If you want to be reminded of what it means to human, read De Passievrucht.' Bergensavisen, Norway


'...van Loon’s clever plot forces you to go on reading.' NRC Handelsblad


'DE PASSIEVRUCHT is a small masterpiece… compelling from beginning to end, tense and witty.' Elsevier


'An exciting, very moving novel written with great talent… The writer’s overall control is masterly.' De Volkskrant


Veen NL (original publisher)


Gustav Kiepenheuer Germany


Norstedts Sweden


Albin Michel France


Grijalbo Spain


Patakis Greece


Cappelen Norway


Kinneret Israel


Gummerus Finland


Fazi Editore Italy


Kodansha Japan


Canongate UK & USA


Gentas Gerel Turkey


Host & Son Denmark


Pont Hungary


Metafora Czech


Queillerie South Africa


Alfa-Narodna knjiga Serbia


Dom Quixote Portugal


New Sprouts Publisher Taiwan


AST Russia


W.A.B. Poland


Record Brazil


Bard Bulgaria


HarperCollins Canada


Marjan Tisak Croatia


Globus R Albania


Edda Iceland


Pegasus Estonia


Madris Latvia


Serambi Ilmu Semesta PT Indonesia


Zalozba Tuma Slovenia


Musu Knyga Lithuania


Sodam Publishing House Korea


Humanitas Romania


Material: Various editions.

lisa's breath (lisa's adem)
Lisa's Breath (Lisa's Adem)

His second novel is another phenomenal bestseller in Holland. Three central characters are all connected to the absent Lisa, who disappeared suddenly while on holiday in France, aged 17.


For Talm, her boyfriend, she was his first love; for her mother, her only child; for her stepfather, the secret that is his undoing. But was Lisa kidnapped, did she commit suicide, or did she simply run away? Those who remain must live with unanswerable questions. Speculation is fuelled by loss, by an absence that does not have an explanation.


LISA'S ADEM explores how people cope in the vacuum that time cannot alter.


Veen NL (original publisher)


Gustav Kiepenheuer Germany


Norstedts Sweden


Gummerus Finland


Fazi Editore Italy


Pont Hungary


Material: Dutch (240pp) and German editions; sample English translation.