“A young man from Haiti is arrested in Miami shortly after beaching, in the dark of night, a small sailboat he built himself. Police have not only found the boat, but also the body of another Haitian. The young man now faces more than just deportation. He may be sent to jail and, if convicted of murder, to the electric chair.
His lawyer tells him to write down his life story to gain favor with the judge and the jury. Without embellishment or melodrama, the young man (a boy, really; he's only eighteen) describes the world in which he grew up. It's a world of poverty, decay, crime and superstition, where human relations are marked by lies and betrayal. The boy's only defenses are his will power, his sarcasm, and his bleak sense of humor.
Writing in a Florida jail cell, he produces much more than a report for the court.  His story becomes a novel of adventure, a raw crime drama, and a heart-rending autobiography.”

“A colorful miracle of narrative art” (Nrc Handelsblad)
“A beautifully written and gripping novel” (Brabants Dagblad)
“With the steady hand of a master Van der Kolk analyses the power relations between those who have nothing, and those who have even less” (Knack - Flanders)
“Van der Kolk paints an unsettling picture of a cold-hearted
and chaotic society, where in the end only the law of the jungle applies” (Leeuwarder Courant)

Three short stories in English you can read online:
‘Olé!’ said the man from Quito
The Smuggler of the Exumas 
Who dies without debts

For information about my other books and my sailing voyages, click here

Collected Short Stories and a third Caribbean novel
A big book with the best short stories from all my previous collections, and a new novel set at sea and in the mountains of the Dominican Republic were published by De Kring in Amsterdam.
(de Volkskrant)
“Sometimes you read a novel or a short story, and when you’re finished, you’re overwhelmed by a feeling of compassion and pity for all mankind. For a very brief moment you understand it all: that everybody is just trying to live with the best of intentions, that it always ends in a miserable failure, and that there is beauty is this shared tragedy. That is the feeling Geert van der Kolk’s stories evoke.”
Persis Bekkering in de Volkskrant
The waterseller
a novel
The waterseller was published in Holland in 2012. For information in English, contact the publisher or send an email.
My novel De oogst is voorbij (The harvest is past) came out in January 2016. The book is the result of a long-cherished wish to go to Africa, and an almost equally old fascination with the paradoxes of development aid. I wandered through Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda for six months, furiously making notes for a book of travel stories, but it turned into something completely different. It became the story of the Dutch agricultural engineer Andries Jordaan. From the moment he arrives in Africa, nothing turns out as he had anticipated. The development project he’s taking over is in shambles, the local tribes are indifferent or suspicious, and the authorities obstruct him whenever they can.
Jordaan gets unexpected help from Pippa Roberts, an English doctor who wants to open a clinic. Together they believe they can accomplish something positive, but underestimate how endlessly complicated, unyielding and violent African reality is. Their own motives turn out to be at least as complicated.
De oogst is voorbij is, I hope, an engrossing, colorful and disconcerting novel. At its core is a love affair that seems too beautiful to be possible.
The harvest is past
“What makes the book exceptional is the masterly description  (...)  Everything is
absolutely believable: landscapes, flora and fauna, the people and their manners,
the food and clothing, the settlements and the merciless climate  (...)  formidable
authenticity  (...)  Heartbreaking!”   Rob van Dam  Literair Nederland
“A book that reads like a thriller. Van der Kolk casts his African novel in such supple
sentences and presents the rough details with so much dry humor, that you effortlessly
remain engrossed until the chaotic ending. (...) The power of this novel is in Van der
Kolk’s detached wanderer’s eye, which he also casts so beautifully over the
boundless African landscape.” ✮✮ ✮✮  Janet Luis  NRC Handelsblad   
“A devastating story. Who still has illusions about development aid will be
cured forever after reading this novel.”   Danielle Serdijn  de Volkskrant
“An excellent novel (...) Geert van der Kolk is a purebred storyteller.”
Ko van Geemert  Parbode Magazine (Paramaribo, Suriname)
✮✮ ✮✮
New The White Heron, a novel of Dutch Colonial New Guinea,
was published in Amsterdam in October 2017. Click here