44 article(s) translated from Dutch

Ketamine

I open the back door and the dog pushes its way out past my legs and runs into the woods at the back of our house. It’s already dark outside and I’m so hungover that I realize only then what…...

The Way to the Sea

The ultrasound technician was a tall woman with intense eyes. At the twenty-week scan Dylan and Tessa beheld the first black-and-white images of their baby moving. “You may as well go out and buy…...

Sand

He raised the blinds, and his wife turned her back to the late sun slanting into the room. He paused a moment, registering the ginger hair partially hidden beneath the collar of the bathrobe, the hand…...

Ten Floors

Girls, women, he’s beginning to fathom them. On the Internet, stripped of shirts, underwear, false modesty, pretty much everything, they reveal their nature. With each click of the mouse more appear…...

Dead Men Always Win

Your mom cut men’s hair for money. I don’t know if she started cutting hair again after the two of you disappeared, you and your mom, because she wasn’t very good, just cheap. You knew…...

Craving

For the first time in her life, Elisabeth runs into her daughter unexpectedly. She comes out of the pharmacist’s on the Overtoom, is about to cross over to the tram stop when she sees her daughter…...

The Virgin Marino

The door opens, and it’s no surprise to Marino that the man who appears is wearing nothing but a pair of briefs. That was the agreement. More surprising is the expression on the man’s face.…...

White Feather

When I wake those damned blackbirds are there again. They cover my whole balcony in shit. There are two of them, but usually only the male shows himself and the female stays next door. White Feather I…...

from “Tooth and Nail”

When Violet tires of it, of people, of conversation, of the party, when she wants to get away without having to explain, she says: “I have to go to yoga.” There are moments when it is hard…...

The Bearded Lady

Just as no one can combat the graying of the population by dying their hair, so Emmy Debeuckelaer could not keep her sorrow at bay by giving herself a good shave. At the age of about sixteen, when the…...

The Ohio Hat

The height of summer, stifling heat, a stiff east wind. Sand and dust blew through the streets of the Amsterdam suburb. The schools were closed, and in the parks, office workers in shirt sleeves lay panting…...

Canoes

for my friend V. Sorry. That was my first word. Not Mama or Dada, not car or bear, but sorry. Just as well. It’s a word I’ve had plenty of use for. I swear a lot. I don’t mean to and…...

Fucked Up

Dear Reader, I was about to tell you of the first time that my stories were published, about how it came to pass and about my “birth” as a writer. But more than that, I would like to tell you…...

For an Easy Life

The telephone was beige. Or an insipid office kind of brown. Square, both the receiver and the body, and the keys too—all right angles, a relic from the eighties. He still had it in the garage, on…...

On Tao Qian

Tao Qian on Tao Qian: He likes to read and is satisfied with the most simple of explanations. When he understands what something means, he is so happy he forgets to eat. Su Dongpo on Tao Qian: He writes…...

Du Fu

Du Fu says of himself that he was a child prodigy, that he was writing poetry when he was seven or eight years old. When he’s over forty, he will be a great poet. What he can think about, he can…...

Su Dongpo and the Trick he says he Learned from Tao Qian

The simplest way to find tranquility: keep starting over in a different way. He knows nothing about those who find tranquility, free from what surrounds them; he’s never met anyone like that. Let’s…...

Dummy Run

He liked his supper at six. To come home from the office, briefly look at the newspaper and then find his meal on the table, that was the way he liked it. When they were just married, Margaret had fitted…...

Let Us Talk

First, we will bury you in the sand, with your head free to speak about mutual understanding, about peace;   first, we will make your field our own, station soldiers between mine and thine, direct…...

Room

In that town there was a room I kept circling. It was near my girlfriend’s. She didn’t know I sometimes climbed those stairs. On the wall there were photos from before the war. I talked to…...

A Journey to Spitsbergen

I On the flight from Oslo to Tromsø, two worlds: the land far below me, the map on my lap. Outside, the sun is setting. The clouds hanging over the land on my map have been painted by Max Ernst,…...

Counterpoint

Aria The woman with the pencil leaned over the table to read a pocket score of the Goldberg Variations. The pencil was made of special black wood. It had a heavy silver cap that concealed a pencil sharpener.…...

Three Fables

1 The Tiny Bones She wrote the perfect sentence. It was not crafted; it tumbled freely from the heavens, straight into her head. She didn't do anything. She just sat. And there it was, then, fully…...

“Arnold . . . !”

She's wondering how to tell his children when an immense silence numbs her. It's as if her thoughts can no longer be captured in words, as if words are refusing service. The briefcase sits in the…...

from “Comfort”

A two-star colleague had helped me import a rye from a small French village with the rather apt name of Pont-Saint-Esprit. Because opium had been banned under the Opium Act in 1928 and no other hard…...