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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

The Bible for Unbelievers

The Beginning: Genesis

by Guus Kuijer

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Translated by Laura Watkinson

One of Northern Europe's most popular writers, Guus Kuijer was fascinated with the Bible from an early age, but was never able to believe it, no matter how hard he tried. Now, in prose that is humorous and sometimes irreverent, Kuijer reinterprets the most popular book in the world, making it new again for the twenty-first century and for the first time rendering it accessible to "unbelievers"—that is, to people who are ready to appreciate it as something other than a sacred text. The first volume of
The Bible for Unbelievers tells the story of the Book of Genesis as an agnostic novel in which man's curiosity causes creation, not God alone. 

Kuijer explores the nagging loneliness of the universe before creation. He asks if man and woman are indeed God's handiwork or vice versa. The entire cast of characters in this Bible is imperfect, a little lawless, and at times fumbling and jealous—God included. Kuijer's afterword tells us that no story can "come to life unless the storyteller makes it his or her own." There's a charming invitation in these pages for us all to dare to revisit our founding myths and the roles we play in them. The Bible for Unbelievers is here to draw us into questions that have no answers. It does so not with fear or religiosity, but with joy.

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Born in Amsterdam in 1942, Guus Kuijer is one ofthe Netherlands' most popular writers for both children and adults. In 2012 Kuijer won the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his writing for children, and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the prestigious AKO Literature Prize for adult fiction. Kuijer currently resides in Zuidschermer, a small town in the Netherlands.