The Longest Night
By Otto de Kat
Another restrained yet monumental epic-in-miniature by one of the most elegant and lucid of modern European writers
A masterpiece of literary craft and concision; sparse, beautiful and hugely affecting - Daily Mail
Since the liberation of the Netherlands, Emma Verweij has been living in Rotterdam, in a street which became a stronghold of friendships for its inhabitants during the Second World War. She marries Bruno, they have two sons, and she determines to block out the years she spent in Nazi Berlin during the war, with her first husband Carl.
But now, ninety-six years old and on the eve of her death, long- forgotten memories crowd again into her consciousness, flashbacks of happier years, and the tragedy of the war, of Carl, of her father, and of the friends she has lost.
In The Longest Night, his impressive, reflective new novel after News from Berlin, Otto de Kat deftly distils momentous events of 20th-century history into the lives of his characters. In Emma, the past and the present coincide in limpid fragments of rare, melancholy beauty.
Translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson
Otto de Kat is the pen name of a Dutch publisher. His prize-winning previous work is published in Holland, Germany and France.
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- Publication date:
23 Mar 2017
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A masterpiece of literary craft and concision; sparse, beautiful and hugely affecting. — John Harding, Daily Mail
De Kat mixes great moral issues with historical events. This is his literary art. The Longest Night is melancholic and brilliantly written. — Marianne Mielke, Radio Berlin.
Otto de Kat has created a small masterpiece. — Nürnberger Zeitung.
The De Kat Express takes you on a journey without borders. — NRC Handelsblad.
An exceedingly beautiful novel that you read breathless till the end. — E.O. Vision.
These are novels of subtle emotional distance . . . as physical as a blow to the heart — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
One of the Netherlands' most compelling literary voices — Irish Examiner