Tagarchief: Dutch literature

World Refugee Day, 20 June 2019

The Pyrenees, February 1939

They were crossing the border by the thousands, men, women, children, an endless stream shuffling forwards, their feet so tired they could hardly lift them, but they had to go on, no time to stop, and if you did the person behind you would bump up against you, so you stumbled upon the person in front of you and propelled him forwards, go, go, go, the dust on the ground mustn’t have time to settle, they had to get out of there before death caught up with them, either in the form of gangrene or starvation or dressed in the uniform of a Fascist. Women carried babies in their arms and what they had left of their belongings they carried on their heads, some undergarments, their wedding picture, the lace christening gown that had been in the family since god knows when and was supposed to be worn by the children to come but would more likely be used as a shroud, all bundled up, trundled along. Older children carried their younger siblings or held their hands, muttering to shut up, that everyone was hungry, that they weren’t there yet and still had to keep on going, that, no, they couldn’t have any water, that they’d just had a sip and now had to wait and how could they be so heavy if they hadn’t eaten for days and their bones by now must be hollow, their skin taut, the stretch gone out of it. Lees verder

EBB, a novel

Foreign publishers interested in reading an English sample of my novel EBB can contact the Foreign rights manager of my Dutch publisher Querido.

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Chapter 3. Stargazer

Counting stars does not console her now, as it never has, and it does not make her sleepy either, as it has never made her sleepy before. So many stars, and it always begins with the first one coming out. It’s not about a hundred or a thousand, she thinks, It’s not about people in the future you will never know and will never count. It’s only about the one, the one who is by your side, who is yours. The one at whose beginning you were present and who will be there at your own end. Maybe Abraham is contented, maybe gazing up at heaven offers him comfort and hope, but Sarah, she is certain, has never again looked up at the stars but points her gaze downward at her belly. At night in the dark, when Abraham crawls on top of her again, he believes he can see the stars glistening in her eyes. And Sarah turns her head away and dries her tears on Abraham’s beard.