The Hairdresser’s Son

Gerbrand Bakker


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Scribe Publications
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9781914484728
288 pages

From the publisher

Translated by David Colmer

Multi–award winning Dutch author Gerbrand Bakker’s phenomenal new novel about grief and the unavoidable power of family ties.

Simon never knew his father, Cornelis. When his wife told him she was pregnant, Cornelis packed his bags, and a day later he was dead. Or everyone assumed he was dead; after all, he was on the passenger list of the KLM plane that crashed in Tenerife in 1977.

Simon is a hairdresser, just like his father and grandfather before him, but he is not passionate about cutting and shaving. ‘Closed’ appears on his shop’s front door more often than ‘open’, because every customer is a person, and people suck the energy from him. But there is one client he regularly interacts with: the writer. The writer is looking for a subject for his next book, and becomes captivated by the story of Simon’s father.

As Simon probes the mystery of what happened to his father, a deeply humane and beautifully observed portrait of loneliness emerges in another captivating novel from one of Europe’s greatest storytellers.