Benedict Wells' Hard Land to be published in 16 languages, Dutch bestseller

After launching Benedict Wells' Hard Land, the book shot straight to #1 of the Spiegel bestseller list – and stayed there for four weeks. The book has remained on the list ever since, i.e. 37 weeks as of the middle of November. Moreover, Hard Land was chosen as the Favourite Book of German-speaking Swiss Booksellers in 2021 (here).

Hard Land comes complete with its very own website, trailer and playlist. The shortest summary of the book is its first sentence: »This summer I fell in love and my mother died.«

Here is the full list of rights sold:
Catalan (Les Hores)
Chinese, simplified characters/CN (Archipel Press)
Czech (Albatros/Kniha Zlín)
Dutch (Meulenhoff)
Estonian (Rahva Raamat)
French (Slatkine)
Hungarian (Geopen)
Norwegian (Forlaget Press)
Polish (Wydawnictwo Poznanskie)
Portuguese (ASA)
Serbian (Plato)
Slovenian (Mladinska Knjiga)
Slovak (Albatros/Lindeni)
Spanish/world (Enciclopèdia Catalana)
Turkish (Eksik Parça)

The Dutch edition of Hard Land by Meulenhoff has been on the Dutch bestseller list ( for eleven weeks and there was a big interview with Benedict Wells in De Volkskrant.

German public TV ZDF have aired a brief feature on Benedict Wells, on his development, on writing Hard Land and on signing 2’000 copies of it for his absent fans within two days, in order to stay connected to them. And if you are curious to know more about how the author paints a nostalgic picture of everything the 80s represent – music, movies and youth – have a listen into our brand-new Diogenes podcast (in German).

If you would like to see Benedict talking to Denis Scheck, ›the‹ literary critic in Germany, check out this link.
Due to huge demand, we have just commissioned a full English translation of Hard Land, which should be available by October at the latest. Please let us know if you would like to receive it

The press echo is overwhelming, here are just a few of the remarkable quotes:

»There can be no doubt that, with this title, Benedict Wells has become the successor to the world’s greatest coming-of-age novel, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye
Lothar Schröder / Rheinische Post, Düsseldorf

»If one didn’t know better, one could think Hard Land was a centuries-old classic of coming-of-age literature.« Oliver Pfohlmann / Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin

»A celebration of youth, as portrayed by master narrators Stephen King and Steven Spielberg in such classic style, in which every experience is unadulterated and intense.«
Thomas Andre / Hamburger Abendblatt, Hamburg

»It is a book that moves to tears and makes deeply happy.«
Roana Brogsitter / B5 aktuell, Munich

»Outstanding dialogue, razor-sharp sentences, unspent stories within the story, and precisely detailed observations follow one after the other, unfurling with precision.«
Ulrich Steinmetzger / Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Essen 

»The ›wonderful years‹ of which Truman Capote wrote are captured here with all their magic. We suffer, love, hope with Sam.«
Manfred Papst / Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag, Zürich

»All the characters in the novel are lovingly and precisely depicted.«
Dorothea Westphal / Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Cologne

»Benedict Wells is an experienced writer with a feel for bipolar emotional worlds, for big dreams and subtle tragedy.«
Bernhard Blöchl / Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich

»If it leaves you cold, you've obviously never been young.«
Theresa Hübner / WDR5, Cologne

»With Hard Land, Benedict Wells has once again achieved a moving blend of humour and emotion, as universally impressive as the genre promises.«
Tanja Ochs / Heilbronner Stimme, Heilbronn

»This book is carefully narrated, and despite the sometimes tough themes, there are no heavy collisions; many goose bumps, but no barrage of effects.«
Torsten Unger / MDR Thüringen, Leipzig

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