Dutch author Mariët Meester
spent her childhood in
Veenhuizen, a prison village
where inhabitants and
inmates lived together
surrounded by ‘No Trespassing’
signs. She writes both fiction
and literary non-fiction.
Important themes in her
novels are the dilemmas that
man faces when trying to
preserve his humanity in
difficult circumstances. Her
non-fiction often deals with
closed communities, similar to
the one in which she grew up
De tribune van de armen
The Tribune of the Poor
Personal investigation into the tradition of
releasing each year one sentenced criminal in
Málaga during an Easter procession.
literary non-fiction, Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers
La Tribuna de los Pobres
Ediciones del Genal 2019, Málaga. Translation:
Koloniekak - Leven in een gevangenisdorp
Colony Posh. Life in a prison village
In ten stories based on the memories of former
residents Meester depicts the peculiar Dutch
prison village Veenhuizen
Stichting Het Drentse Boek, 142 pag.
1st edition 2012, 6th edition 2021
De mythische oom
The Mythical Uncle
Literary non-fiction about the American uncle of
Mariët Meester, who survived leukemia thanks to a
stem cell transplant. The donor was her father.
Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers 2012, 288 pag.
Liefdeslied van een reiziger
A Traveller's Love Song
A man leaves home accompanied by his cat. A
journey across Europe brings him face to face with
the history of his life.
Uitgeverij Balans 2009, 256 pag.
Sla een spijker in mijn hart
Roemeense Roma na de revolutie
Drive a Nail through my Heart - Romanian Roma after
description and reviews
passage in Italian: Piantami un chiodo nel cuore - I
Rom Rumeni dopo la rivoluzione
non-fiction, Uitgeverij Balans 2006, 336 pag.
1st edition Uitgeverij Meulenhoff 2003
2nd edition Uitgeverij Caprae 2020
A young woman retreats to a terp in the Dutch polder
landscape. When the terp is isolated from the outside
world by a flood, she suddenly has to rely on the other
residents. In a contemporary version of the Flood myth,
Mariët Meester writes about the human urge to
survive. A grim but moving story unfolds.
English sample by Stacey Knecht. German sample
by Birgit Erdmann. Spanish sample by Goedele de
De verdwaalde nomade
The Nomad Who Lost His Way
Uitgeverij Meulenhoff 2000, 208 pag.
Travel stories about nomad people in Romania,
Mali and India.
De stilte voor het vuur
The Calm before the Fire
Travelstory, Uitgeverij Meulenhoff 1992, 192 pag.
novel, Uitgeverij Meulenhoff 1990, 220 pag.
2nd edition Uitgeverij Auteursdomein 2007
While Lily, the main character of Pingping, is
looking for a more simple way of life, her
opponents try to drag in as much 'pingping'
(money) as possible. A tragicomedy with
novel, 272 pag., Uitgeverij Caprae 2020
Read more in Dutch...
De eerste zonde
The first Sin
novel, Uitgeverij Meulenhoff 1997, 194 pag.
4th edition Uitgeverij Balans 2005
5th edition Rainbow 2007
- Die Kühe der Kronprinzessin - essay fpr Haus für Poesie 2021, Berlino
- The Protagonist - essay in international literary magazine Asymptote, translation Stacey
- Oblomov as a woman - Essay, World PEN-congres, Macedonia 2002. Translation in English:
Alissa Leigh. Published in literary magazine in Macedonia.
The Dutch Siberia
Novel set in 'the worst village in the Netherlands',
the penal colony Veenhuizen. During WWII a
Franciscan priest joins the resistance together with
his housekeeper. Based on a true story.
1st edition Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers 2014
5th edition Uitgeverij Caprae 2021
De volmaakte man
The Perfect Man
novel, Uitgeverij Balans 2005, 256 pag.
Novel, Uitgeverij Meulenhoff 1994, 240 pages.
Russian translation: Amphora Publishers, St. Petersburg 2002.
Translation: Irina Michailova.
Story about a young couple of which the man is silent and the
woman tries to find out the cause of his silence. In retrospect she
recalls their shared history.
Memoir about the author's childhood in the
prison village of Veenhuizen. During her
childhood the lives of the residents and the
inmates were so intertwined, that little Mariet
went to kindergarten in a bus with barred
non-fiction, 288 pag., De Arbeiderspers 2022
Read more in Dutch...