354 Rooseveltlaan, Amsterdam.
It's Saturday and Luis Sol is hauling his brand-new smart fridge up the stairs. Luis is a visual person and so he fills his apartment with beautiful things: glass tables, marble countertops, white couches, workout equipment. He can afford to on his meager Bagel Shop salary thanks to inheriting his mother's city apartment. This is his home.
Professor William Rose is an Oxford intellectual. He's visiting Amsterdam to find out where he came from thanks to a letter which may prove Edward Hond, the renowned philanthropist, is his biological father. When he arrives, William stares up into the lit windows of his father's apartment to see Luis. For all intents and purposes, that apartment belongs to William, it's where he was born, it's his rightful inheritance, and he's going to take it back.
What ensues is Bette Adriaanse's enchanting tale of two men who refuse to share and fight for what they each believe to be true, only to destroy what they each held to so dear to begin with. Written in Dutch and English simultaneously, What's Mine is as humorous about lawyers and the futility of paperwork as it is heartbreakingly true to the financial realities of our convoluted modern world. What Adriaanse presents is a question we can all ask ourselves: Can what's mine be yours too?
Praise for What's Mine
"Bette Adriaanse is becoming a major literary novelist in the best European tradition. She has the down-and-out life experiences of the early Orwell, the desperate humor of Flann O’Brien, the prose immediacy of Beckett, and the avalanche of bureaucracy of Kafka. WHAT'S MINE is a stellar achievement of depicting the absurdist brutality of contemporary urban capitalism where nothing but narcissism and arbitrary outcomes rule."
—Alan N Shapiro,
"Bette Adriaanse is my favourite Dutch writer. No one writes like she does. Her voice— frank, whimsical, philosophical, funny, gorgeously tactless— points a lens at the world that sharpens everything, then she plays with the focus, then resharpens it so the world never looks quite the same. What's Mine is a timeless book that deserves a wide readership."
—Caoilinn Hughes, author of 'Orchid & the Wasp', winner of the Collyer Bristow Prize, Dalker Literary Award, the Royal Society of Literature's Encore Award 2021 and the O. Henry award
"WHAT'S MINE is a surprising and deep work with a persistent quiet momentum carrying the reader back-and-forth in time and space across the slivers of four interlocking lives. It is totally engaging."
"Bette’s inimitable voice is always a treat to escape into. I cannot wait for this dark, absurdist tale to go out into the world. "
—Jing-Jing Lee, author of 'How We Disappeared', selected for the British Royal Big Jubilee Read
"The shifting perspectives give this surprising, absurdist novel a cinematic character, but what stays with you is the way small events find their place in the larger story."
"With subtlety and humor WHAT'S MINE addresses how confusing justice and property can be…"
"Full of accessibility, lightness and humor… Are you on Luis' side or William's side? Adriaanse leaves the answer almost entirely to the reader. A special book."