The Dutch television and radio producer, actor and writer Herman Koch is perhaps best known in his native Holland for his role in the hit TV series Jiskefet, a comedy sketch show which ran for a dizzying 15 years. But Koch is no one-trick pony, a columnist for the newspaper Volkskrant, and the author of six novels, he is one of the Netherland’s most revered writers and journalists. Despite this The Dinner, astonishingly, is Koch’s first work to be translated into English.
Winner of the prestigious Publieksprijs Prize, The Dinner on the surface begins as a rather unremarkable tale; two couples sit down to eat at a fashionable restaurant in Amsterdam, engaging in gentle, polite and banal conversation about upcoming holidays and the mundanity of work. But behind the empty words, terrible things remain unspoken, and with every forced smile and each new course, the knives are being sharpened. How far will these parents go to protect the ones they love?