De Bezige Bij (The Busy Bee) is one of the leading literary publishers in the Netherlands for both Dutch and translated literature, fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels.

During the Second World War, Geert Lubberhuizen gathered a group of students in the city of Utrecht and set up a small press. With their publications they financed their resistance movement. De Bezige Bij was founded officially in December 1944. After the war had ended, the publisher established itself as an author’s cooperative at the Van Miereveldstraat in Amsterdam. In these elegant premises the publishing house still resides and continues to go from strength to strength.

Nowadays De Bezige Bij publishes a wide range of Dutch fiction: from the works of Harry Mulisch, Willem Frederik Hermans, Cees Nooteboom and A.F.Th. van der Heijden to the prose and poetry of Remco Campert and Ramsey Nasr, from the novels of Tommy Wieringa and Margriet de Moor to the varied work of Hugo Claus and Gerrit Komrij. The same applies to our list of translated literary fiction, which consists of the works of Philip Roth, Paolo Giordano, John Irving, Donna Tartt, Khaled Hosseini, Philippe Claudel, Antonio Tabucchi, Amos Oz, Toni Morrison, Albert Camus, Marcel Proust and Vladimir Nabokov amongst many others. In this impressive variety of literary styles, there is one common feature: quality.

De Bezige Bij is also manifesting itself as publisher of non-fiction by leading Dutch and international authors. The main focus of this list has always been the Second World War and history in general, but the number of titles in other areas of non-fiction is increasing. Our authors include Paul Verhaeghe, David Van Reybrouck, Frank Westerman, Oliver Sacks, Darian Leader, David Remnick, Tim Weiner and Karen Amstrong.

In recent years, De Bezige Bij has attracted a great number of acclaimed authors. It provides a home now for successful novelists such as Peter Buwalda, Jan Siebelink,  Marcel Möring, Erwin Mortier, Stefan Hertmans and many others.

De Bezige Bij consists of the following lists:
1. De Bezige Bij: upmarket fiction and non-fiction
2. Thomas Rap: stand-up comedy books, sports library, debuting novelists and poets, publications by the most famous Dutch columnists, popular non-fiction
3. Cargo: crime fiction, thrillers, commercial fiction and non-fiction
4. Oog & Blik: graphic novels

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Authors and employees, 1969 – © Thom Hoffman