Peter Buwalda

Bonita Avenue

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A darkly hilarious tale of a model family's disintegration. Professor Siem Sigerius — maths genius, jazz lover, judo champion, Renaissance man. When Aaron meets his girlfriend Joni's family for the first time, her multitalented father could hardly be a more intimidating figure, but somehow the underachieving photographer manages to bluff his way to a friendship with the paterfamilias. With his feet under the table at the beautiful Sigerius farmhouse, Aaron feels part of the family. A perfect family. Until, that is, things start to go wrong in a very big way. A cataclysmic explosion in a firework factory, the advent of internet pornography, the reappearance of a forgotten murderer and a jet-black wig-all play a role in the spectacular fragmentation of the Sigerius clan… and of Aaron's fragile psyche. “Great European art: the Dutchman Peter Buwalda explodes the bourgeois family saga. The narrative pyrotechnics alone are a tour de force.” Die Zeit “Peter Buwalda's impressive family saga is a genuine page-turner, with a forceful, precise style. The author races with unstoppable speed towards the finish, without getting entangled in the numerous gripping narrative strands, without even steering out of the curve.” Libris-Prize Jury Report, 2011 “Buwalda's debut novel [is] daring in its linguistic power and freedom, and impressive, even frightening, in its psychological sharpness and precision … great and outrageous.” Frankfurter Rundschau
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606 printed pages
Original publication
Pushkin Press



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    Helen Westhoff-Powellhas quoted5 years ago
    “You know full well which photo,” he said.
    Joni, her sister Janis, his wife Tineke, all of them in the spacious living room knew which photo he meant. It had been printed full-page about a year earlier in the newspaper serving Tubantia University, the small college whose campus was tucked into the woods between Enschede and Hengelo, and where Sigerius was
    Helen Westhoff-Powellhas quoted5 years ago
    He was standing on the bank of the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, wearing nothing but a necktie, spread-legged in the muddy, trampled grass, his genitals clearly visible under his cautiously rounded fifty-plus belly.

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