Tirza by Arnon Grunberg (REVIEW)

Tirza by Arnon Grunberg
Published February 19th 2013 by Open Letter 
Paperback, 452 pages


Jorgen Hofmeester once had it all: a beautiful wife, a nice house with a garden in an upperclass neighborhood in Amsterdam, a respectable job as an editor, two lovely daughters named Ibi and Tirza, and a large amount of money in a Swiss bank account. But during the preparations for Tirza's graduation party, we come to know what he has lost. His wife has left him; Ibi is starting a bed and breakfast in France, an idea which he opposed; the director of the publishing house has fired him; and his savings accounts have vanished in the wake of 9/11.

But Hoffmeester still has Tirza, until she introduces him to her new boyfriend, Choukri - who bears a disturbing resemblance to Mohammed Atta - and they announce their plans to spend several months in Africa. A heartrending and masterful story of a man seeking redemption, Tirza marks a high point in Grunberg's still-developing oeuvre.


I received a copy of Tirza by Arnon Grunberg from Open Letter Press in exchange for review.

Jorgen Hofmeester is a father of two daughters and lives the life as a publisher and a landlord. Renting out the upstairs of his house to locals or travelers. After losing his first daughter to growing up and moving out. He has his last daughter left "Tirza"

Throwing a going away party for his daughter takes a few unexpected turns, including his wife returning after 3 years of not being around. She tries to come back into Tirza and Hofmeester's life and gets a cold shoulder.

After a Tirza leaves to travel to Africa with her boy friend. Who her father thinks looks like Mohammed Atta (the man behind the plane crash of the world trade center) Hofmeester goes to Africa for a surprise visit.

The surprise is what he confesses to a nine year old girl he meets in Africa. A huge twist I was not expected, well worth the 400+ page read.

(as posted on Goodreads)