Arnon Grunberg – Brieven aan Esther

Great writers’ memorabilia are cherished as part of our cultural heritage, usually only after their death but in the case of Grunberg – himself not averse to a little contrariness – a lot earlier. Even so, the correspondence collected here that he conducted with Esther, a girlfriend of his youth, truly does assume the character of a monument because it (or one side of it) is here reproduced in its entirety – right down to the front and back of every envelope.

The tendency is to assess its importance – by analogy with the writer’s work – with a sense of irony. Yet this is a serious and loving project for which the girlfriend in question, herself a designer and publisher, put herself to a great deal of trouble. The boxed luxury edition has been given a counterpart in a simple popular pocket edition (priced to suit all fans) which the panel would have liked to see as part of the whole in a single submission.

The care and attention evinced by this book came in for much praise and are nicely balanced by the conspicuous lack of adornment.

Edition: 2011
Language: Dutch
Publisher / commissioner: Alauda Publications, Amsterdam
Designer: Esther Krop
Lithographer: Esther Krop in collaboration with Marc Gijzen
Printer: Slinger, Alkmaar
Binder: Jansenbinders, Leiden
Dimensions: 220 x 306 x 10
Amount of pages: 80 p.
Number of copies: 200
Price: € 200
ISBN: 978 90 815314 6 7
Font and foundry: Mercury Text G2, Generika Mono Light
Binding style: sewn hardback
Material: 120gsm Original Gmund Tactile, cream (interior), 135gsm Colorplan, bright white (endpapers), 120gsm Colorplan, bright white (binding)