Amsterdam Noir

edited by René Appel and Josh Pachter

René Appel is known as "the godfather of the Dutch psychological novel." I first "met" him by email in 2005, when EQMM editor Janet Hutchings asked me to find and translate a Dutch story for the magazine's "Passport to Crime" feature, and my old friend Theo Capel recommended René as the right person to approach. My translation of René's "Bloody Hot" appeared in August 2006, and I later translated another of his stories for EQMM, one for AHMM, and one for The Mammoth Book of Best International Crime (Robinson, 2009). We also collaborated on a story, "A Woman's Place," which was in the September/October 2017 issue of EQMM.

In 2016, I became aware of Akashic Press' terrific City Noir series of anthologies and proposed Amsterdam Noir to them. Publisher Johnny Temple and Managing Editor Johanna Ingalls wrote back enthusiastically, but they agreed that there had to be a current Amsterdam resident on board as co-editor. I asked René if he'd be interested, he was, and we set to work.

We wound up with a collection of fifteen terrific stories by authors including Herman Koch, Christine Otten, Hanna Bervoets, Mensje van Keulen, Walter van den Berg, Max van Olden, Simon de Waal, Loes den Hollander, Murat Isik, Annaloes Timmerije, Abdelkader Benali, Karin Amatmoekrim, my old friend Theo Capel and my more recent friend Michael Berg. René and I also contributed another collaborative story, "Starry Starry Night."

With the exception of "Starry Starry Night," which René and I wrote in a mix of Dutch and English and helped each other translate back and forth into both languages, the other stories were all written in Dutch. For the American edition, I got Herman Koch's regular translator — my friend Sam Garrett — to translate Herman's contribution and my old friend Maria De Bruijn to translate Simon de Waal's, and I translated the other twelve stories myself.

The book was published in Dutch by Ambo|Anthos in May 2018, and can be ordered here, and the English-language edition can be preordered here.

Return to Bibliography.