I’ve been posting fewer reviews here lately, partly because I’ve been reviewing less (and writing more! I’ve really almost finished my second book). But it’s also because I’ve been working differently. I used to write my reviews for Trouw in English, then give them to my partner, Jan van Houten, to translate into Dutch. That […]

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In recent weeks I’ve seen a discussion taking place around the names of literary awards, with many arguing that awards should not be named after people. One of those awards is the Tiptree. I haven’t wanted to say much about this, mainly because I’m in the middle of revisions for the book that ate my […]

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For pure reading pleasure ‘The Testaments’, Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” lives up to every bit of the considerable pre-publication hype. Atwood’s original dystopian novel, published in 1985, ends like a Cold War thriller: the main character, Offred, escapes from Gilead, the Christian theocracy where as a “Handmaid” she is held in […]

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“I was surprised—though I shouldn’t have been—to discover that a book on mothering was also about not-mothering. Yet the problem of an unplanned pregnancy, for women born between 1900 and 1945, is a story that runs throughout my book. Of the women I’m writing about, almost all struggled for access to birth control. Several had […]

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Grievance, paranoia, and Ian Buruma Many observers in the Dutch press had a hard time understanding the fall of Ian Buruma. My explanation was published in Dutch in Letter&Geest on September 29, 2018. Ian Buruma is out. Our man in New York, the Dutchman who made his name in the English-speaking world with insightful books […]

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