4 Amazing Books That Were Translated from Dutch To English

Today is International Mother Language Day and as it is so often the case with these kind of days, I got inspired to create a list for you. I myself am Belgian and my mother language is actually Dutch. Perfect excuse to present you with a list of books that have been translated from Dutch to English.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

I’m kicking his list off with a fairly recent translation. This horror novel received a little make-over for the English translation, the story was transported from a small Dutch village to a small American village, that I have some mixed feelings about. Still, it should definitely be on your TBR as freaking Stephen King said: “HEX, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: A wicked witch holds an upstate New York town prisoner. This is totally, brilliantly original.”

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Ah, a classic which I couldn’t forget to put on this list.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s extraordinary diary, written in the Amsterdam attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, has become a world classic and a timeless testament to the human spirit. Now, in a new edition enriched by many passages originally withheld by her father, we meet an Anne more real, more human, and more vital than ever. Here she is first and foremost a teenage girl—stubbornly honest, touchingly vulnerable, in love with life. She imparts her deeply secret world of soul-searching and hungering for affection, rebellious clashes with her mother, romance and newly discovered sexuality, and wry, candid observations of her companions. Facing hunger, fear of discovery and death, and the petty frustrations of such confined quarters, Anne writes with adult wisdom and views beyond her years. Her story is that of every teenager, lived out in conditions few teenagers have ever known.

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Okay yeah so uhmmm… That’s it? Well that’s embarrassing… I honestly can’t find any other book translated from Dutch to English that I actually read and recommend. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah.

So, what follows is a list of translated works that I haven’t read either, but should be on both our TBRs.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old by Hendrik Groen

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 years old

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he has to visit his doctor more than he’d like. Technically speaking he is…elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs–not least his new endeavor the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in–the woman Hendrik has always longed for–he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.

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Crusade in Jeans by Thea Beckman

Crusade in Jeans by Thea Beckman

Fifteen-year-old Dolf uses a prototype time machine and gets stuck in the Middle Ages. Trying to find his way back to the twentieth century, he joins a children’s crusade of almost ten thousand children on their way to the Holy Land. Dolf helps the children defy the terrible mountains, conquer disease and fight evil knights. Slowly, Dolf begins to realize that the real danger does not lurk behind the next mountaintop, but rather within the crusade itself.

Talk to me

What do you think of the books that ended up on my list? Have you read any books translated from Dutch to English? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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