City-pick Amsterdam

An anthology of writing about Amsterdam from international authors – compact, full of essence, informative: “City-pick Amsterdam” is a small and handy book introducing readers into the history, people, traditions and mysteries of the Dutch capital.

About the book

City writing about Amsterdam with excerpts from almost a hundred writers. Along the names like Charles de Montesquieu, Voltaire, Albert Camus, Paul Auster, a historian Simon Schama and several Dutch classic authors as Multatuli and Nescio, there are passages from beloved in the Netherlands contemporary writers as Martin Bril, H.M. van den Brink, Remco Campert, Simon Carmiggelt, Jules Deelder, Maarten’t Hart, Gerrit Komrij, Geert Maak, Cees Noteboom and many others. Two pages from the Anne Frank “The Diary of A Young Girl” are also included.

The Dutch have a tongue in cheek saying about their celebrities – they are “wereldberoemd in Nederland” – “world-known in the Netherlands”, as they accept the fact that being a small nation, they not always are able to promote their achievements abroad. So here, luckily, you have a chance to meet many Dutch writers reading their reflections about Amsterdam – sometimes just a half page, sometimes a bit more – just glimpses rich with stories, events, ideas, images. You may also see these short passages as an invitation to read the whole book in its English translation. Hence you will find the excerpts from every one of the best books set in Amsterdam as recommended by The Guardian. Nevertheless, many of the quotes from the selection have been found among unknown titles, Dutch and foreign, which makes “City-picks Amsterdam” even more valuable.

The themes

The book divides all the excerpts around nine main themes: from general pieces about Amsterdam, through the city highlights and people of Amsterdam, the city history and traditions, completing the selection with quotations about the modern metropolis. The collection of extracts gives the reader a unique insight into these themes - full of small observations, noted events, personages, characters, emotions.

Interesting introduction by an Amsterdam based American author Sam Garrett, with a short synthesis on the subject, as well as Index and List of sources complete the book.

“City-pick Amsterdam; Perfect gems of city writing”; edited by Heather Reyes and Victor Schiferli, introduced by Sam Garrett; 244 pages; published by Oxygen Books Ltd, UK.

City-pick Amsterdam” can be purchased online directly from the publisher The Oxygen Books via their website