WINNER OF THE ECI LITERATURE PRIZE 2016
NOMINATED FOR THE HALEWIJN PRIJS 2016
‘Writing well is not so hard, but sometimes a writer shows you what great writing is. The rivers here are not gentle: the waters are cruel and unpredictable. Water gives and takes. With Driessen it is precisely that which seems unchanging which is unreliable. That is most prominent in the final story, where the dispute between two families on opposite sides of a Brittany stream half a century ago is being fought with a persistence which makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seem like a café quarrel. Anti-semitism plays a role in the background of all the stories. But so do sexuality, death, nature and love. And above all the river is a metaphor for Martin Michael Driessen’s writing: fast-flowing, unpredictable and at times stunningly beautiful.’ Arjen Fortuin, NRC Handelsblad (****)
‘Three remarkable story pearls. Driessen gives water a dramatic, almost apocalyptic meaning in the outstanding RIVIEREN.’ De Morgen
‘If there is justice in the world, then RIVIEREN will bring Driessen the fame he deserves.’ Haarlems Dagblad (*****)
‘This collection is original and of high class. The best Driessen to date… Driessen’s vivid narrative power achieves true perfection.’ De Volkskrant (****)
Just as rivers meander through a landscape, so rivers meander through the lives of the characters in the three beautiful novellas collected together here. The Main and the Rhine form the lives of two rafter friends in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when class differences and daily bread are deciding factors.
A stream in Brittany marks the land border between two French families, Huguenots and Catholics, who have been feuding for centuries. It is a bloodcurdling, twisted history of great tragedy and beauty.
A contemporary actor looking for catharsis on a canoe trip down the Aisne in the Ardennes for his messed up artistic life and his uncontrollable alcoholism, experiences an unparalleled ride through hell.You never step into the same river twice: Driessen never writes the same book twice.
Van Oorschot NL
Material :Dutch book 139pp; English sample available