The Pelican

(De Pelikaan)

Martin Michael Driessen

Shortlisted for The Libris Prize

The Pelican

Andrej is the postman in a sleepy town on the Adriatic coast in communist Yugoslavia. Josip is responsible for the cable train to the Hero’s Monument on the hill. He is unhappily married and has a mistress. Amateur photographer Andrej manages to snap compromising pictures of the lovers and starts to blackmail Josip. Soon after Josip discovers that Andrej steams open letters and steals money out of them. To meet the demands of his unknown blackmailer, Josip begins to blackmail Andrej. Meanwhile the blue sea laps calmly on. Perfectly capturing the men’s mentalities, with empathy Martin Michael Driessen presents his main characters in a fable of mutual dependency. Driessen once again shows his great talent for making ordinary life into stunning and exciting literature.

Chosen as the book of the year by NRC Handelsblad, De Standaard, De Tijd

‘He can already, without argument, count himself amongst the best writers of our country. His new novel THE PELICAN again shows his extraordinary class.’ FOUR STAR review in Noordhollands Dagblad

‘In book jargon we call this a pearl or a jewel. He has out done himself with this book.’ De Wereld Draait Door

‘Prose in which craft, imagination and an almost old-school storytelling joy, embedded in an ingenious plot – Martin Michael Driessen is the patented supplier thereof.’ De Morgen****


  • Van Oorschot NL (original publisher)
  • Del Vecchio Italy
  • Gondolat Hungary
  • Amazon Crossing World English
  • Polyandria No Age Russia

Material: finished copies of Dutch and English