He had never married and had never been with one woman for long; he had always remained a collector of first times.' Edward Landauer, a brilliant microbiologist in his forties, meets a beautiful young woman. She is the love of his life, and when the two marry in France, Edward is the happiest man in the world. At first, Ruth Walta appears to represent a victory over time, but even she cannot stop him growing older. After the birth of their long-awaited son, the 'happiness, delicate like filigree' turns into something new, and Edward no longer recognises his great romance nor the woman who induced it.
Tommy Wieringa was born in 1967 and grew up partly in the Netherlands, and partly in the tropics. He began his writing career with travel stories and journalism, and is the author of four other novels. His fiction has been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Oxford/Weidenfeld Prize, and has won Holland's Libris Literature Prize. Sam Garrett has translated some forty novels and works of non-fiction. He has won prizes and appeared on shortlists for some of the world's most prestigious literary awards, and is the only translator to have twice won the British Society of Authors' Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation.