Bavo Claes was anchorman of the national TV news for thirty years. His debut novel Kraai (Crow) was widely acclaimed and awarded the prestigious NCR Price and nominated for the Gouden Uil for literature. It sold 22.500 copies and ranked 35 weeks in the Bestseller List.

‘Fifty = many hours of real reading pleasure (…) By all means a voluptuous story (…) from tragedy to slapstick (..) superb!’   –   De Standaard Weekblad

‘Vijftig is a satire on modern-day marriage and midlife crises; Topped off with a whiff of John Updike, the  novel confirms that Claes has earned his place in Flemish literature.’ – Rebecca Benoot, Flanders Today


Are you dead when your obituary appears in the newspaper? May the offender of a crime go on without remorse? Was the year 2000 the beginning or the end of the millennium? And how fatal is hot air? Fifty shows the daily lives of a handful of people who turn fifty. Even though that may be a round number, things don’t seem to round up so easily for them – whether they work at a newspaper office, bookstore or TV-studio.

A grand novel on the beauty of female bodies. On the abolishment of female lives. And about the question how it could get so out of control.