Joris has lived with his aunt and uncle in a village since his early childhood; his father died young and his mother moved to Spain. He is a quiet and introverted child who, his relatives fear, resents the loss of his parents deeply. The gentle rhythm of life, however, is about to be disturbed, awakening in Joris charged memories of his dead father.
With the past swathed in obscurity and rumours circulating about his parents, Joris feels insecure and vulnerable and his attempts to reconstruct his family history from photos are continually frustrated. As Joris grows up and his aunt and uncle age, the end of his youth approaches, as does a definitive confrontation with his father.
In a style marked by extraordinary elegance and subtlety, Erwin Mortier brings a lost world back to life. Shutterspeed is an enchanting novel which evokes all the mystery, wonder and confusions of childhood.
Mortier’s elegant sentences skip across the pages and rock the reader as if in a boat
Beautifully elegiac… a remarkable novel. Gay Times
Erwin Mortier (1965) made his mark in 1999 with his debut novel Marcel, which was awarded several prizes in Belgium and the Netherlands, and received acclaim throughout Europe. In the following years he quickly built up a reputation as of one the leading authors of his generation. His novel While the Gods were Sleeping received the AKO Literature Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the Netherlands. His latest work, Stammered Song Book, a mother’s book of hours,’ a raw yet tender elegy about illness and loss, was met with unanimous praise. Mortier’s evocative descriptions bring past worlds brilliantly to life.