Nominated for The Halewijn Prize
Johan Butler, a retired translator, is considering writing his memoirs, with his bilingual background as leitmotif. The son of a Canadian soldier and a Dutch schoolteacher who met at the end of the Second World War, Johan was born and raised in Canada and moved to the Netherlands in his thirties. He has always felt that he becomes a different person depending on the language that he speaks, Dutch or English, a difference he resolved by becoming a translator.
But before he can begin with his life story, a Dutch publisher asks him to translate the controversial new novel by the young American author Toby Quinn. Christian groups are outraged by Quinn’s portrayal of God as a candidate in a talent show, the author even receiving death threats. When Johan takes on the prestigious assignment, his English alter ego protests by going ahead with the memoirs after all. And so the inner conflict that has shaped Johan’s life flares up again. To make matters worse, various parties involved in bringing Toby Quinn’s book to Europe have started to receive threatening emails.
End of Story/Einde verhaal is a cleverly composed novel that can be read as two separate stories but together they form a greater whole.
‘The storytelling prowess behind this double perspective is dazzling; like walking through an Escher-like labyrinth. Hats off to Schogt. Artistically it is almost an act of resistence: a complicated novel in which the absurdity of marketing is also exposed.’ Volkskrant
‘There is certainly virtuosity lurking behind this book, it has an intriguing theme and a beautiful style’ Trouw
‘The way Schogt weaves the story lines together to a coherent tale is impressive’ Leidsch Dagblad/Noordhollands Dagblad and others
‘Einde verhaal/Endof Story’ is a literary experiment which you can keep on enjoying.’ Cleeft.nl
Read an interview with the author about the writing of this book in the Amsterdam Quarterly.
- Arbeiderspers NL
Material: Dutch edition (316pp). Complete English version available