Book review: Dutch author’s exploration of anxiety is fascinating and relatable

In The Anxiety Project, Dutch journalist and novelist Daan Heerma van Voss, who himself suffers from crippling fear, takes a literary look at the condition

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Daan Heerma van Voss is 37 and from a well-known Dutch family. His father was a broadcaster, his mother a professor of sociology. He and his younger brother Thomas are both highly regarded literary novelists.

He is also an award-winning journalist, particularly noted for his account of being embedded with Dutch peacekeeping troops in Mali. He suffers, however, from a crippling anxiety that has had massive effects on his mental health and relationships.

The Anxiety Project is an attempt to make sense of the condition that has plagued him since the age of six or seven, when attempting to cross a plank bridge over a stream led to his first panic attack.