I am excited to announce that my next book, Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing has found a Dutch publisher. The book, due out in 2014, will be published in the Netherlands by De Bezige Bij, one of the great literary houses in that country.
In addition to publishing an impressive list, the house has an impressive history:
“The company was founded illegally in 1943, during the German occupation of the Netherlands by Geert Lubberhuizen; its fist publication was a poem by Jan Campert called De Achttien Dooden (“The eighteen dead”), which describes the execution of 15 resistance fighters and three communists. The poem was sold to raise money for Jewish children who were placed with Dutch families; when it was published, in the spring of 1943, Campert had already died in the Neuengamme concentration camp. When the German occupier rounded up students for the Arbeitseinsatz, Lubberhuizen hid in the attic of Maarten Vink, a surgeon, and ran the press from there.
The name is derived from one of Lubberhuizen’s aliases, “Bas.” After he had signed a note, “Bas (busy),” an English-speaking friend joked, “Bas, busy as a bee can be,” which led to the current name.
In 1997, De Bezige Bij became part of the Weekbladpersgroep, though it was to keep its editorial independence and its cooperative structure.” (Wikipedia)