Summer Brother

Thirteen-year-old Brian lives in a trailer on a forgotten patch of land with his divorced and uncaring father. His older brother Lucien, physically and mentally disabled, has been institutionalized for years. While Lucien’s home is undergoing renovations, he is sent to live with his father and younger brother for the summer. Their detached father leaves Brian to care for Lucien’s special needs. But how do you look after someone when you don’t know what they need? How do you make the right choices when you still have so much to discover? Summer Brother is an honest, tender account of brotherly love, which will resonate with readers of Rain Man.


“Robben’s style is deceptively simple … Robben’s imagery, subtle humor, and surprising plot will connect with the most literate of readers.” ―De Standaard

“Lovingly, Robben shows Brian’s hapless attempts to deal with pills and full diapers, yet all the while he is working mercilessly towards the inevitable climax.” VPRO Gids

“This is a bold, tender and ambivalent narrative, raw and disturbing, with moments of painful beauty; a taut narrative heavy with a convincing sense of dread.” ―Irish Times, on You Have Me to Love


• Longlisted for the Booker International Prize 2021 • Winner of the Vondel Prize for Dutch Literature in Translation

Rights Profile

World excluding USA



Publication Date

May 2021


Summer Brother on the World Editions website