Maarten, an ageing gay man of no use any more, is no longer in the film business as he used to be; his life partner died some time ago, and, in addition, he is burdened with debts. In this situation, he is given the opportunity to make himself useful again: if he takes in a young black asylum seeker, Tamara, and enters into a marriage of convenience with her so that she may get a residence permit, he will receive a lot of money. The coexistence of these two different characters is logically really exciting; the author, with his own humour, balances between slapstick and drama and manages to make the novel amusing and enjoyable. Yet in his depiction of the two lonely characters there is much sympathy for those to whom fate has not been very nice.
Published by Argo, 2020
Tom Lanoye (* 1958) is a Flemish novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter and playwright. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages; his plays have been performed in twenty countries; also, one of his novels has been made into a film. He has won numerous literary prizes. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp for his literary work.
Video by Martin Sedlák