Gaby den Held


The fairy-tale like prose of Gaby den Held is colorful and cinematic. His style is accessible and clear, without literary tinkering. How bizarre and grotesque the stories sometimes may seem, they always have one foot in reality, like in a magical realist painting. Are the stories fairy tales or romance novels? Is it magic realism or surrealism? Coming of age perhaps? It doesn’t matter. These are stories that the child, who is always present in the adult, would like to hear. They tempt you, move you, but they also mislead you. The tales bring you in so pleasant an atmosphere that you only notice the bitter astringency and the darkness when it's too late. And then you're right in the middle of it.

'And then your gaze! With bulging eyes it seems as if you completely have surrendered yourself. At such a moment you don't look like an angel anymore. Then you are a cat that has been driven into the corner. A corned prey that does not really surrender. A beast that, if I catch it, digs its claws into my flesh. You're playing a dangerous game.'
In the bars, streets and parks of Amsterdam and Paris, the story is told of a sensual love that turns into an obsession. Angel Floris thinks he recognises in Charlie Dark his childhood friend and falls desperately in love. Is he really him, or will Angel's fantasy world collide painfully with the harsh reality?

Language: Dutch
Size: 12.5 x 20 cm. (4.7 x 7.9 inches)
Pages: 174
Retail Price: € 17.50
ISBN 978-90-8684-183-7
Release Date: October 13, 2019, published by IJZER

Charlie Dark trailer (English subs)

REÜNIE (Reunion)
Dorian Pots, a known and loved urologist, arrives on a sunny May day in Diepenheim, the city of his youth. He thinks to start a new life with Jasper van Vliet, his former puppy love. But then he meets Titus Balkenhol on the terrace of cafe Boonk, wearing a blue polka dot dress. 
This willy-nilly old school chum, the clown of the class, tells him: "See you tonight at the reunion of our old school class." A reunion? Why does Dorian knows nothing about it? His former classmates have more surprises in store. Ingredients for an equally grim as entertaining tragicomedy. Revenge tastes sweet. Does it? 

Language: Dutch
Size: 12.5 x 20 cm. (4.7 x 7.9 inches)
Pages: 153
Retail Price: € 15.50
ISBN 978-90-8684-153-0
Release Date: October 1, 2016, published by IJZER

Reunion booktrailer (English subs)
More on REUNIË
MAAN (Moon)
This imaginative novel is not exactly the typical teenage love story. Maan lives with his eccentric mother, Saskia, the widow of the wealthy merchant Lambert Humalda, in a big house at the border of the Frisian village Dantumadiel. Rick is in love with the beautiful Maan, but becomes confused when he tells him that he is really a girl. This is just the beginning of a chain of unfortunate adventures that takes them along harassing rugby players, noble frog people and the Amsterdam underworld.

Gwen Muylaert (Meerkat Magazine):
What a pleasant surprise Maan is. Gaby den Held delivers a haunting debut novel, caught between a fairy tale and rock hard realism. Again and again he sketches in just a few pen strokes an atmosphere, a feeling. The language is colorful and cinematic, but goes straight to the point.

Ton van den Born (het Continuüm):
I see the movie for me, Maan walking towards Rik in the She Lion Fashion Store, years after they've last seen each other. My advice: before the movie
comes, read the book first​.

Laguage: Dutch
Size: 12.5 x 20 cm. (4.7 x 7.9 inches)
Pages: 170
Retail Price: € 16.50
ISBN 978 90 8684 124 0
Release Date: November 5, 2015, published by IJZER

MAAN Trailer (03:42)

More on MAAN

Nascent Novel

Alex Stanovsky runs to Utrecht Central Station on his way to the Typhoon 
firm where he has a job interview. On the train he meets a man who 
accompanies him to an office. It appears that the interview takes place 
there. He is hired as a personal assistant of Ms. Beyer-Garratt. Gradually 
it dawns on him that the train is a society in itself and he is now part of that 
society. But will he ever be able to leave?