You said it

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath formed the most famous romantic couple in modern Western literature. In You Said It the Dutch novelist Connie Palmen provides a voice for Hughes, who died in 1998. In the book, the character of Hughes looks back on a passionate marriage that ended on February 11, 1963 with the suicide of his wife. Hughes also looks back on his own life which, from that moment on, would be dominated by her death. In the countless biographies of Plath, she is given the status of martyr and Hughes that of a traitor and murderer. He was reviled by strangers and even sued by people he once considered friends.

Using great restraint and insight, Palmen describes the thoughts, fears and incantations of this husband, and the deeply tragic bond with the woman who would come to define his life. You Said It, ultimately, is a poignant novel about love and death.

Original title:

Palmen - Jij zegt het - iBook
Jij zegt het

September 2015
272 pages
80.000 copies sold



In over a quarter of a century, Connie Palmen has written five great novels, a novella, numerous short stories, essays and the Diary of a Merciless Year.

Rights sold: Germany (Diogenes)

English sample available

Press comments:

‘Connie Palmen’s great strength in her well-written You Said It is that you are immediately taken in by the voice of Ted Hughes. You forget that, in fact, it’s not his voice, but that of the writer. Then you have done your job as a novelist. Class. ’ Het Parool ★★★★

‘A smashing start to the book season. ’ Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, De Wereld Draait Door

You Said It is Palmen’s best novel. ’ NRC Handelsblad ★★★★

You Said It is captivatingly romantic.’ Elsevier ★★★★★

‘It is full of beautiful sentences that strike one as dated in a pleasant way.’ Vrij Nederland

‘Finally, you cannot but conclude that if all the writers in the Netherlands would write with as much courage, ambition, intellectual curiosity, arrogance, or rather, balls, as Connie Palmen has done, literature would be a lot more exciting. ’ Joost de Vries, De Groene Amsterdammer