Hendrik Groen

Hendrik Groen
Funny, heart-warming secret diaries of an old man

Hendrik Groen started his first diary on the literary website of Torpedo Magazine and was spotted by Publishing House Meulenhoff. He says about his novel: 'Not a sentence is lied, but not every word is true.' That diary. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 831/4 Years old, was published in 2014 and was an enormous success: there is an actual Hendrik Groen fan club, foreign rights were sold to more than 35 countries, a television series was produced, it was adapted into a play by Bos Theater Productions and it received the NS Public Prize 2016. His second diary, As Long as There is Life, has been a bestseller since its publication. His diaries have sold over half a million copies in the Netherlands and Flanders. His novel Live and Let Live was published in June 2018 and immediately rose to first place in the bestsellerlist. Hendrik Groen is a pseudonym.

Represented by 2 Seas Agency.




Under option with the publishers who bought rights in Hendrik Groen’s The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old

Over 650,000 copies sold of Hendrik Groen’s books in the Netherlands and Flanders

Hendrik Groen won the Dutch Railways Public Award in 2016 and 2018


Best friends Hendrik and Evert return as the protagonists of an unsought, but very surprising adventure!

Takes place nine years before The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years OldHendrik Groen’s first diary.  Written in Hendrik Groen’s trademark style: funny and moving, at times with a sharp edge.

Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker, faithful friends in good and bad times, are well over seventy and their lives have quieted down. They see each other once a week to play chess, have a drink and grab a bite to eat. Meanwhile, they reflect on life. But one day, peace is crudely disturbed when Evert shows up on Hendrik’s doorstep with a surprise in the form of an unexpected little guest. He spotted a pram with a baby in it – unattended for just a minute – and, in a momentary lapse of reason, decided to take it for a walk. Hilarious, right? Not according to Hendrik, who can barely believe his friend’s stupidity.

The friends turn out to be quite competent babysitters, as they desperately try to get the little one back with its parents without being noticed. But getting rid of their accidental foster child turns out to be more difficult than expected…

Hendrik Groen published his first diary in 2014. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old was an enormous success: there is an actual Hendrik Groen fan club, foreign rights were sold to 36 countries, a television series was produced, and it was adapted into a play. His second diary, As Long As There Is Life, has also been a huge bestseller, published in English as On the Bright Side. His diaries have sold over 550.000 copies in the Netherlands and Flanders, and they both received the Dutch Railways Public Award. His novel Live and Let Livewas published in June 2018 and went straight to #1 in the bestseller lists. Hendrik Groen is a pseudonym.

Hendrik Groen's long-awaited new novel!

A new, standalone novel filled to the brim with Hendrik Groen's trademark wit and sharp powers of observation.

What if you could disappear from your current life and start over somewhere else?

A faced-paced story that is both thought-provoking and hilariously funny.

Fans of the diaries will most definitely recognize Hendrik's fresh, down-to earth style and mild sense of self-mockery.

Under option with the publishers who bought rights in Hendrik Groen's previous titles.

About the book:

Arthur Ophof had imagined his life differently. Instead of making spectacular trips to far off places, he spends hours stuck in traffic. His jaded, childless marriage and car-free, family-friendly neighbourhood aren't particularly exciting or impressive. Friday afternoons with his three best friends are the highlight of his week. And he's approaching 50, so time is running out. When his employer 'regrets to have to let him go' and Arthur manages to get a good severance pay out of it, he discovers an unexpected chance at an entirely new life…


'Once again, [Hendrik's] observations of human behavior are as sharp as they are witty.' - Algemeen Dagblad

'Sounds like a light version of Herman Koch.' - Trouw

'How brilliant [Hendrik] is, again! Of course the story is very different, but you immediately recognize his trademark, villainous humor and enjoyable style.' - Amber Martensen, bookstore Thomas, Bergen

'Good news for Hendrik Groen lovers: they will immediately recognize the tone of voice of the diaries.' De Telegraaf

'Ironic, full of inside jokes and recognizable small sufferings. Well written.' De Limburger

'This book is like the last sentence of the story: larger than life! Warmly recommended for everyone.' Booksicareabout.wordpress.com

'I find the new Hendrik Groen more vivacious than the diaries. It is wonderfully sarcastic.' Anne Jager, bookshop De Vries, Zierikzee

International Publishers and Authors about Hendrik Groen:

'The summary and translated partial were enough to incite a true Hendrik Groen mania. We all know stories about grandparents or elderly friends that we loved, that refused to sit back and silently accept the last fase of their lives. When I acquired the rights to this book for Random House, I thought of my 96-year-old grandmother who lives in a retirement home. She too has plenty of funny stories about her 'fellow prisoners' and I can't wait to share this story with her.' - Jessica Leek, Michael Joseph - Penguin Random House, UK & Commonwealth

'What drew us in was Hendrik's fantastic style, his view on other elderly people and his outlook on life. Fully, sweet, melancholic but always endearing and brilliant. Life must end, but what the end looks like is up to us. And Hendrik is the right person to remind us of this valuable and essential truth. What a man!' - Giuseppe Strazzeri, Gruppo Editorale MauriSpagnol, Italy

'We are incredibly excited to be Hendrik Groen's German publisher! He is one of the most lovable and hilarious characters I've ever encountered and I am sure he will find a place in many German readers' hearts in no time.' - Elisabeth Witt, Piper Verlag, Germany

'Jonas Jonasson enchanted us with his novel and Fredrik Backmans work is both serious and funny at the same time, but Hendrik Groen's sense of humour is teeth- grinding and cynical. The book is filled with funny situations, but also depicts a brutally honest image of elderly people's lives. This topic is incredibly universal and should interest French readers of all generations.' - Frédérique Polet, Presses de la Cité, France

'A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow
old with dignity will have much to reflect on.' - 
Graeme Simsion

'A joy to read, as much concerned with friendship and dignity as it is with the debilitating effects of aging … An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days, stoic in the face of bureaucratic nonsense and an unabashed need to wear a nappy. Imagined or not, this is the diary of someone who wants nothing more than to be allowed see out his days with dignity and respect. It's not too much to ask, really, is it?' - John Boyne

Hendrik Groen is back!

Everyone got to know Hendrik Groen thanks to his diary Attempts to Make Something of Life. Together with his friend Evert and the other members of the Old-but-not- dead-club, Hendrik tries to make his last years in a retirement home in the north of Amsterdam as pleasant as possible. Sometimes it's hard for Hendrik to keep his spirits up.

Fortunately, he has picked up his pen again. With his characteristically charming, ironic humor and critical eye he observes his fellow residents, the management team, his friends, and old age in general. And he definitely does not spare himself.


Hendrik Groen may be old, but he's certainly not dead yet and not messing about this year. Granted, his daily walks become shorter and shorter because the legs are protesting and he certainly frequents his GP's office; he's an elderly, technically speaking. But why would that mean that life's only about hiding out in a retirement home, drinking coffee and waiting for death to come?

In short and honest, seemingly light-hearted diary entries Hendrik Groen takes the reader along for a year full of ups and downs in a retirement home in the north of Amsterdam. On the last day of the year it will be hard to say goodbye to this charming character…


'Funny, tragic and sometimes heart rending.' Het Parool

'Hendrik Groen is a heart-warming hero.' Trouw

'With pungent phrasing Groen takes down life in a retirement home. Both charming and hilarious.' **** Leeuwarder Courant

'Hendrik Groen is king. My mother (78) suffers from dementia. Doesn't read a newspaper or magazine anymore, only old photo albums can grab her attention for longer than 5 min. Hendrik Groen made her laugh out loud and she was reading for a good half hour in his book.' Ray Kluun, author of Love Life

'The tears came streaming down my face. From laughing so hard. I couldn't stop grinning for three days.' Ouderenjournaal