The Cabinet of the Staal Family

The Cabinet of the Staal Family

The Cabinet of the Staal Family

Yolanda Entius

Kobe has worked hard all his life. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t gamble and he doesn’t visit prostitutes. These are the facts and Kobe think this is the only thing that matters. He sticks to things you can fixate or count like snapshots or the contents of your wallet.

His youngest daughter Mees doesn’t believe much in these facts. Numbers and pictures capturing the Truth and the strict distinction between fact and fiction. She doesn’t know this truth and she doesn’t know the truth about her family, because nothing is said about it. And since the things you can’t talk about leave much room for speculation, she does just that.

What happened when her little brother died and why did her older sister suddenly leave the house? Why is mother still trying to scare her? ‘You have no idea what your father is capable of doing’, she warns her. No, Mees has no idea, but her imagination is gradually fading all boundaries.

At age 41, when Mees has to make an important decision, it is time to end all speculations about her family. She visits Luuk who lives in the mountains. Perhaps he can help her unravel all the family mysteries. Yolanda Entius shows with love, humor and precision how a family falls apart when there is no room to talk, whisper or even think about the sore spots of life.

The Cabinet of the Staal Family was selected for the 10 Best Books list for the Spring of 2011 by the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature (NLPVF).

‘So brilliant that the reader has to gasp for air from time to time.’
de Volkskrant ****

The Cabinet of the Staal Family is a beautiful, emotional novel about the inabilities of both children and parents.’ - Elsevier

‘Entius proved in her previous novels that she can create an atmosphere of tension and frustration without using many words and naming things too directly.’ – Noordhollands Dagblad *****

‘From the start it is obvious that she stands above the story. This isn’t confessional literature or therapy prose. The tone is hard and straight.’
NRC Handelsblad

‘Brief, loud and clearly well timed, convinced of the power of words.’ - Trouw