A Word a Word

The Busy Bee. April 21th, 2016

Roberto Saviano in La Repubblica: 'Wonderful travels in search for threads of dialogue.'

'Is the pen mightier than the sword?' As a child Frank Westerman experienced two Moluccan train hijackings from close proximity. As a correspondent he witnessed the Chechen terror in Russia. Starting out from these intense experiences he takes the reader with him through a series of high profile hostage dramas from Bovensmilde to Beslan.

The author mixes with terrorism negotiators in Paris and drinks mint tea with a former train hijacker who has become a poet. To get a sense of what language can do against terror, Frank Westerman goes a step further by subjecting himself to a hijacking exercise in a Boeing 747 at Schiphol Airport and by training as a hostage negotiator in a police training village. What can the word achieve against the bullet?

'A Word a Word' tests the strength of the free word under the pressure of present-day attacks since Charlie Hebdo.


Luxury Paperback with flaps. 288 pages, 2 maps, 70 000 words. German, Italian, Egyptian and French rights sold. Rights managers: Frank Westerman and Jolijn Spooren

mail(at)frankwesterman.nl and j.spooren(at)singeluitgeverijen.nl

Italian edition A word a Word

'Westerman is de greatest heir of Kapuschsinki' - Internazionale

'Wonderful travels in search for dialogue' - Roberto Saviano

'A compelling book, extremely enjoyable to read' - Panorama