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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. The very first ILFU Book Club will feature none other than the Italian author Paolo Cognetti. This Book Club will be moderated by Jet Steinz.

N.B. On the evening of Monday 17 September, Paolo Cognetti will also be appearing in TivoliVredenburg. We will then be screening his documentary The wrong side of the bridge

Book: De buitenjongen [The Wild Boy] (De Bezige Bij, 2018). Translation: Yond Boeke, Patty Krone
In the Book Club, we will be discussing Cognetti’s book De buitenjongen [The Wild Boy]. However, this book is so interlinked with his bestseller De acht bergen [The Eight Mountains] that we will be looking at both books. We will send you a copy of De buitenjongen, but you are also encouraged to read De acht bergen yourself.

The protagonist of De buitenjongen is a lonely man in his thirties. His life in Milan has come to a standstill and he misses the mountains of his childhood, which he last saw more than ten years ago. He therefore decides to rent a hut two thousand metres above sea level and to spend a couple of months living in a way he secretly dreamed about when he was younger: completely alone, surrounded by a few animals and his favourite books. Life in the mountains is simple: he chops wood, starts a garden, makes fire. And gradually he regains strength and rediscovers what he has lost over the years. For weeks on end, he doesn’t see a soul, until a figure suddenly appears.

De buitenjongen is a philosophical novel about the beauty of loneliness, friendship, our connection with nature and family, and forms a logical whole with the bestseller De acht bergen.

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 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-reader. Can 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:

Jet Steinz

Paolo Cognetti

Monday 17 September

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


Het Literatuurhuis
Oudegracht 237
3511 NK Utrecht