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The Foxes Come At Night
The Foxes Come At Night
The Foxes Come At Night
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The Foxes Come At Night

by Cees Nooteboom
Translated by Ina Rilke

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Set in the cities and islands of the Mediterranean, and linked thematically, the eight stories in The Foxes Come At Night read more like a novel, a meditation on memory, life and death. Their protagonists collect and reconstruct fragments of lives lived intensely, and now lost, crystallized in memory or in the detail of a photograph. In ‘Paula’, the narrator evokes the mysterious, brief life of a woman he once loved; in ‘Paula II’, the same woman is aware of the man thinking of her. No longer a body, she is slowly fading into the distance, remembering the time they spent together, and his fear of the black night when the foxes appear. And yet the tone of these stories is far from pessimistic: it seems that death is nothing to be afraid of.

Nooteboom is a superb stylist who observes the world with a combination of melancholy and astonishment. These stories are textured with humour, pathos and vast knowledge, the hallmarks of this outstanding and highly respected European writer.

‘One of the most remarkable writers of our time… The outstanding characteristic of his writing is its elegant intelligence’ Alberto Manguel, Guardian.

‘Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom’s short novels are exquisite toys for the broken-hearted, erudite tales that revolve around themes of loss and despair but are never less than playful’ Jonathan Gibbs, Independent.

‘The eight stories in … Cees Nooteboom’s latest collection share a Mediterranean setting and lightness and touch which make them ideal holiday-reading’ Wayne Gooderham, Time Out.

‘Nooteboom … is full of surprises and makes every word, every observation, not only count but also linger’ Eileen Battersby, Irish Times.

‘This collection of short stories confirms Nooteboom’s reputation for elegance’ Adrian Turpin, Financial Times.

‘This book will never augment the bestseller charts, but its low-key form bears greater truths than any number of noisily marketed ‘masterpieces’. Nooteboom’s preoccupations are romantic, but his treatment is not whimsical: close observation, precise imagery and sardonic wit are evident in all the stories … It is melancholy, but there is conviction in the modest approach that renders this artful work of fiction both wise and beautiful. It is elegantly translated from the Dutch by Ina Rilke’ The Literary Review.

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