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The ILFU Book Club is a unique opportunity to discuss a contemporary novel or classic in small groups, in the presence of the translator or author. In this edition, the guest will be the American author Brad Watson with his novel Juffrouw Jane [Miss Jane]. The moderator of this Book Club is Rob van Essen.

Book: Juffrouw Jane [Miss Jane] (Atlas Contact, 2018). Translation: Harm Damsma, Niek Miedema
In Juffrouw Jane [Miss Jane], Brad Watson tells the story of Miss Jane Chisholm, born in rural, early twentieth-century Mississippi, who has a birth defect that makes her unfit for carrying out the role assigned to women of that time and environment: sex, marriage and children. But Jane certainly doesn’t grow up as a victim; she is a curious child, later a young woman who comes up against her physical boundaries, but doesn’t let them restrict what she does in advance. She wants to go to school, attends the local dances, experiences a first love. Her staid older sister, her harsh father, her sometimes depressive mother and, in particular Dr. Thompson, who is extremely open for the era, contribute in their own way to her becoming a woman with a willpower and zest for life that make her even freer than most of her contemporaries.

How does the ILFU Book Club work?
A Book Club lasts two hours. In the first hour, you discuss the book together, guided by a moderator. In the second hour, the translator or writer sits down to take part in the discussion and answer your questions. This will be followed by drinks in The House of Literature.

  1. Buy a ticket by clicking on the tickets button on the right.
  2. You can have two options:
  • A ticket whereby the book is delivered to you at home, which is useful if you don’t live in Utrecht or don’t have much time
  • A ticket whereby you pick up the book yourself from the bookshop (save on postage, packaging and environmentally polluting transport).
  1. You pay via iDeal and receive an e-ticket in your mailbox straight away.
  2. In the week commencing 20 August (four weeks prior to the start of the festival), we will send you the book, or we will let you know which bookshop in the centre of Utrecht you can pick it up from.
  3. On the day of the Book Club, you are welcome in the House of Literature half an hour before the start. Have fun!


I already have a copy of the book. Can I buy a ticket without a book?
No, this is how it works: a ticket includes book + participation in the Book Club. By taking part in the Book Club, you are also supporting the author, their publisher and the bookshop. Do you already have the book? If so, give the Book Club copy away as a gift to someone you know.

I prefer reading on an e-readerCan you send me an EPUB?
No, it is not possible to distribute EPUBs to third parties. We purchase exclusively physical books and distribute these to the participants.

How many participants are there?
A Book Club consists of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 25 participants.

Which language will be spoken?
The language spoken during the first hour will be Dutch. If the guest is a foreign author, the language spoken in the second hour will be English, unless specified otherwise. If the author is Dutch, the discussion will be in Dutch.

Who will be the supervisor of my Book Club?
Four weeks before the festival, in the week commencing 20 August, we will announce your Book Club supervisor and send you the book.

Will drinks and nibbles be provided?
We will provide tea, coffee, water and a beer or glass of wine after the session.

Will there be signings?
Of course. All authors are willing to sign their books. Their books that is; we can’t make any guarantees when it comes to paraphernalia, t-shirts or body parts.

Writers and Artists:

Brad Watson

Rob van Essen

Tuesday 18 September

Time: 15:00 - 17:00 Hour
Admission fees: €30 – €35
Language: Nederlands


Het Literatuurhuis
Oudegracht 237
3511 NK Utrecht