Parrot flew over the IJssel


Of his books, over one million copies have sold in the Netherlands, and Abdolah’s work appears in 27 languages.

In Parrot Flew Over the IJssel, four foreign families are each offered a house in a village along the river IJssel. They begin a new life in a new country: the Netherlands. It doesn’t take long until the river, the IJssel Bridge, and the ferry become a part of their identity.

This new novel by Kader Abdolah, takes place in and around the city of Zwolle, especially in four traditional Dutch villages by the river: Zalk, Wilsum, ’s Heerenbroek and Veecaten, in a landscape that has remained the same for hundreds of years. While the cold is not inviting, the skies are magnificent.

The four families, just as foreign to each other as the country where they live now, realize that they need to continue their journey along the water, the IJssel Bridge and to the city. Will they find a home there?

The Netherlands has undeniably changed over the past 25 years. Newspapers write about it, television cameras follow it, discussions about it move from editorials to living rooms and back again. It is high time for a polyphonic novel such as Parrot Flew Over the IJssel, which depicts the essence of these changes.

Kader Abdolah came a quarter of a century ago as a stranger to the Netherlands, but was soon embraced by his new countrymen. It comes as no surprise that this novel makes use of his personal experiences.

Original title

125 x 200 WT

Papegaai vloog over de IJssel
September 2014
448 pages
50.000 copies sold

Rights sold: Italy (Iperborea)

Kader Abdolah (Iran, 1954) debuted in 1993 with the short story collection The Eagles. With the successful novels Cuneiform (2000) and The House of the Mosque (2005) he won both Dutch and international readership. The latter book was even voted the second best Dutch novel of all time. His books have been translated in more than 20 countries. In 2011, Abdolah wrote on behalf of the CPNB, the short story, ‘The Crow’.

Rights: 2 Seas Agency