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Best Dutch Literature: top Dutch books of all time

Updated on April 22, 2012

Dutch book: introduction to Dutch literature

Dutch Book

Searching for a dutch good book? Here you can find the best Dutch books. Also a short introduction to the Dutch literature will be provided. Moreover, there is an overview of the books that have won the most important Dutch literature prizes. With tons of brilliant Dutch authors Dutch books are definitely worth your while. Here you can find information about Dutch books.

Introduction to Dutch Literature

A Dutch book does not exclusively have to originate from the Netherlands. In general also different Dutchspeaking countries are considered to be part of Dutch Literature. Authors from countries like Indonesia, Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, South Africa and of course Belgium are regarded as to contribute to Dutch Literature. Although they have also created interesting works, this article will solely focus on the Dutch Book and the Belgian Book. The first Dutch author we know by name is the poet Hendrik van Veldeke. Although we can not actually speak of the first Dutch book, he has made a biografy, a court novel and several poems. From then onwards with knight novels in 1300 to actual novels in the time of the renaissance, Dutch literature starting taking shaping. A dutch book demonstrating the power of the written word was Multatuli's Max Havelaar. A book that would turn out to have a major impact on colonial thinking in the Netherlands, and remains a much read book.

The Dutch Book in the past decades

Everyone in the Netherlands knows the so called 'Big three'. Three of our biggest Dutch authors of the last years. Although not everyone agrees they are the only big ones, it cannot be denied that Willem Frederik Hermans, Gerard Reve en Harry Mulisch made a huge impact on Dutch literature and culture. All off them have passed away now, with Mulisch being the last who died last year. A new era has started and there are many promising authors eager to fill the gap.

Literature awards for Dutch books in the Netherlands

A dutch book does not have any name until it is awarded one of the big literature awards. The most important prizes are the AKO literature prize, Libris Literature prize, and the Golden Owl due to the high price money.

The best Dutch Book top 10

According to the actual readers, so not the critics, these are the Top 10 best Dutch Books. It was the result of an internet survey conducted by the NRC Paper and the NSP.

  1. Harry Mulisch, De ontdekking van de hemel - Discovery of Heaven
  2. Kader Abdolah, Het huis van de moskee - The house of the Mosque
  3. Multatuli, Max Havelaar - Max Havelaar
  4. J. Bernlef, Hersenschimmen - Chimera
  5. W.F. Hermans, De donkere kamer van Damokles - The Dark Room of Damokles
  6. W.F. Hermans, Nooit meer slapen - Never sleep again
  7. J.J. Voskuil, Het bureau - The Desk
  8. Nescio, De uitvreter, Titaantjes, Dichtertje
  9. Gerard Reve, De avonden - The evenings
  10. Thomas Rosenboom, Publieke werken - Public works

If you are interested in Dutch books, you might also want to know the very best Dutch Movies and TV -series. For this you should visit the Dutch Films Section of of European Films..


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