November 5, 2020 at 3:54 pm #7907witenbergParticipant
War and Turpentine
by Stefan Hertmans, David McKay
- Author: Stefan Hertmans, David McKay
- Publisher: Text Publishing
- Genres: fiction, war, belgium, literature, novels, historical, roman
- ISBN: 9781925240207 (1925240207)
- Awards: AKO / ECI Literatuurprijs (2014), BTBA Best Translated Book Award Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2017), Libris Literatuurprijs Nominee for Shortlist (2014), European Book Prize Nominee for Fiction (2016), De Inktaap (2016)
- Format: paperback, 304 pages
- Places: Belgium
- Release date: July 18, 2016
- Language: english
About The Book
Shortly before his death in 1981, Stefan Hertmans’ grandfather gave him a couple of filled exercise books. Stories he’d heard as a child had led Hertmans to suspect that their contents might be disturbing, and for years he didn’t dare to open them.
When he finally did, he discovered unexpected secrets. His grandfather’s life was marked by years of childhood poverty in late-nineteenth-century Belgium, by horrific experiences on the frontlines during the First World War and by the loss of the young love of his life. He sublimated his grief in the silence of painting.
Drawing on these diary entries, his childhood memories and the stories told within Urbain’s paintings, Hertmans has produced a poetic novelisation of his grandfather’s story, brought to life with great imaginative power and vivid detail.
War and Turpentine is an enthralling search for a life that coincided with the tragedy of a century — and a posthumous, almost mythical attempt to give that life a voice at last.
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