Book review: Hard Copy by Fien Veldman

Friday, June 14, 2024 Permalink

Hard Copy by Fien Veldman is a very hard book to describe. It’s been translated from Dutch by Hester Velmans and I find it difficult to critique translations… because you don’t know how much of the writing style (whether good or bad) can be attributed to the writer or translator. Here for example, some of the phrasing is exquisite and I wonder if the original is equally as mesmerising? Having said that, there’s something about this book that felt just out of reach. Was there a metaphor I was missing? Was I taking everything too literally? Was Veldman’s style – by not giving our lead character (and most others) – a name and obliquely hinting at backstories before getting into them, simply too esoteric for me?

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