No matter how hard his literary agent tries to persuade him to come up with a sequel to his bestseller The skin-coloured Negro, Zama van Mansbrugge has decided to call it quits. He spends his days in the local new agent’s drinking beer and mocking other people. While he tries to leave his pas behind him, he gets obsessed with a girl called Melanie. Can she keep Zaman away from the precipice? 


* Autobiographical novel about a writer who, from the micro cosmos of a news agent’s, looks at and comments on the world around him. With ruthless humour as his principal weapon

After two successful volumes of letters comic talent Tim Foncke finally published his first novel

* Foncke was sentenced to four months of prison following the publication of some letters in Life is Good when you don’t participate


Ex-comedian Tim Foncke (Aalst (Belgium), 1978) wrote The Esteemed and Life is good when you don’t participate (collected letters 2009-1011) and works as a writer for various TV-shows.  He toured Flanders with fellow writer Herman Brusselmans with their show God is not very well hung.


‘“Man” appears twice in my name and I still don’t have the balls to hang myself.’  It was 10.20 in the news agent’s and Zaman Van Mansbrugge opened his first can of Jupiler. He looked tired. He was kept awake by the heat in his appartment the last couple of days and when he finally fell asleep he was woken by a man with a Dutch accent who hid himself behind a private phone-number and who tried to talk him into a digital TV subscription.

‘I say this as a viewer, mr Van Mansbrugge,’ the salesman had said, ‘digital TV is the ultimate, most of our customers watch it. It’s a once-in-a lifetime opportunity I’m offering you here.’

‘This is the third time you lot have been offering me this once-in-a lifetime opportunity.’

‘When was the last time we rang you, mr Van Mansbrugge?’

‘September 12.’

‘September 12?’

‘Eh no actually, that was my biographer. September 11 I got a call from your colleague Gulag.’


‘Gulag Archipel. Maybe he doens’t work there anymore. A lot has changed since September 11. You know that.’


God is not very well hung is the only book that I have read one and a half times in the last five years.’ Herman Brusselmans

 About The esteemed

‘Funny, moving and melancholy, but ever so often vicious, scabrous of insulting’. nrc next

 ‘Disturbing cries for help. Not for attention, but to keep that little bit of madness in the head under control.’  – Joost Vandecasteele in Rekto:verso

The Esteemed doesn’t have one dull moment thanks to Foncke’s dry and animated style’. – Goddeau

 ‘Foncke shows that a volume of letters does have the power to entertain and can be modern. His talent as a writer is indisputable and his sense of humour is everywhere.’  8Weekly

 ‘An insatiable hunger for writing’. – de Volkskrant






Lebowski Publishers / Oscar van Gelderen

E: oscar.vangelderen@lebowskipublishers.nl

T: + 31 6 46096823