In this edition:
Crazy times, by Reinou Anker-Sollie
The fashion of face masks, by Charlotte Korten
Interview with Kit de Waal, by Berendsje Westra
The invisible illness, by Elke Maasbommel
In memoriam: Loes Baning, by Annie van der Veen, Henk Kaput and Henk Dragstra
Alumni publications, by Marjan Brouwers
By Reinou Anker-Sollie, Chairperson
In these crazy times where a certain president of the United Stated refuses to concede, Brexit will occur in a little over a month, and corona limits our social traffic, there are a few things that remain the same, such as: the Anglophile!
In addition to the truly interesting articles, this Anglo contains this link to our Annual General Meeting documents. The AGM will take place on the 15th of December and will be held online via Zoom, so naturally, we will expect a lot of our members to attend 😉. If you wish to attend, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will then send you a link you can use to attend the meeting.
Have fun reading!
The fashion of face masks and other pandemic perils (26-10)
By Charlotte Korten
Summer holidays seem like an eternity ago. And the inflatable pool in my backyard now belongs to memories of which I am suddenly not sure whether they were real or not. Since mid-August, secondary schools are back in full swing, including my school. And although at times it almost feels like the first half of last year, at other times I am confronted with the harsh reality.
When I have put my students to work and decide that I can go and get a cup of coffee – some things don’t change – I often walk back into the classroom after two or three steps: forgot my face mask. If I’m lucky, I don’t bump into the disinfection pump that is screwed onto the door frame. Although the bruise on my upper arm says otherwise. Not to mention the awkward corona dance that I perform daily with colleagues or students in a narrow hallway or at the coffee machines. I’m convinced that I will never get used to some things in this pandemic.
And yet I find it is not difficult to see the silver lining in this situation. I continue to be amazed by the creativity of the face masks that students show up with. Okay, some do come to school with a rather boring face mask, but there are more than enough students among them that walk around wearing trendy face masks with all kinds of fun patterns. One of the students even took this opportunity to start their own face mask business.
With all the uncertainty about extra corona measures, it is nice to see a pretty face mask pass you by in the hallway every now and then, which makes you think: we all try to make the best of it.
Interview with best-selling writer Kit de Waal
by Berendsje Westra
Kit de Waal is a best-selling British novelist. She talks to Berendsje Westra about what it means to be a writer from a working-class background and her efforts for more inclusivity in writing and publishing.
Kit de Waal (1960) recently shared a message she wrote to a friend in 2013 with her Twitter followers: ‘So depressed about my writing having just had a resounding no — again. Having to actually digest the fact that I’m not good enough.’
Fast-forward seven years, and Kit is an internationally acclaimed author. She won the FutureBook Person of the Year Award in 2019 for her campaigning for inclusivity in publishing, and set up The Kit de Waal Creative Writing Scholarship for underrepresented and disadvantaged writers in a joint effort with Birkbeck, University of London.
You started writing fairly late in life, enrolling in a creative writing degree at fifty-one. Was it always at the back of your mind to one day approach your writing with more seriousness?
I never wanted to be a writer as a child or most of my adult life. It didn’t occur to me and I wasn’t that interested in writing. But when I adopted my second child, Luke, in my mid-forties and gave up my job to look after him because he was ill, that changed. I started writing at the right time for me, lots of time on my hands and a lot of naivety about the barriers.
How would you define the term ‘working-class writer’?
A working-class writer is a writer who comes from the working classes, and that’s a very big class of people, right from people who have never worked for whatever reason to people who maybe have two cars and take holidays. Working class today is very different to what it was years ago when there was a lot of manufacturing and manual work. These days, working-class people may work in the service industry, in call centres, on farms, in the gig economy and in retail. They may also be skilled artisans. Working class does not always mean poor. There are some very poor aristocrats.
You mentioned in your BBC podcast Where Are All the Working Class Writers? that although your lifestyle may make you look middle class, you will ‘always be of the working classes.’ Can you explain what’s been instilled in you to make you feel this way?
I was brought up to feel I would always have something in common with those at the bottom; with those who had nothing, were oppressed and overlooked. That was us. That was where I came from as the child of two immigrant parents. I could never imagine a time when I wouldn’t associate myself with those people.
In your BBC podcast, you also mention how in England it is ‘awkward and complicated to talk about class.’ Are the barriers for working-class writers higher in England than in other U.K countries?
I think in England with its aristocracy and royal family there is far more of a delineated class system. That is not to say it doesn’t exist in lots of other countries and in the rest of the UK, but England particularly has a problem with class. It could be that Scotland and Ireland and Wales have a history of oppression by the English, where at one time or another their language, religion, way of life, customs, history and people have had to bend the knee to England, often accompanied by great cruelty. Maybe that gives people an affinity with the oppressed. Anyhow, the rigidity of class in England is alive and kicking.
You wrote two other novels that weren’t published. Then, you wrote My Name is Leon, and it became an international bestseller. In a way, writing about the lives of underrepresented characters offered you the opportunity to become a successful, published author. Do you feel that your working-class background limited you to write about a particular subject matter in order to get published? If so, do you think that is fair?
I don’t think this is the case with me personally but it’s absolutely true that many working-class writers feel that to be successful they have to endlessly regurgitate their own story or the story of oppression and deprivation. It’s not right. Working-class writers should have the freedom to write about anything at all, just like their middle-class counterparts.
You’ve become the spokesperson for the movement that advocates the inclusion of working-class writers. How do you feel about this?
It was never my intention to become any kind of activist. I am writer first and foremost. However, I would not be comfortable taking my success and keeping quiet while people like me struggle. In a way, I’m a reluctant spokesperson, and in another way, I’m extremely proud and humbled to have the opportunity to help. There is now a conversation going on which is the first step towards change. Things have got better but there are still barriers in terms of working-class writers having the right contacts and networks and the very London centric nature of the publishing industry. Perhaps with this crisis and the explosion in remote working and conference calls, this might change, which would be a great leveller in terms of access.
Can you tell us a little bit about the scholarship you set up for underrepresented writers?
I set up the scholarship to give an opportunity to someone from my background, and beyond, to do a creative writing masters. I paid for the fees, travel and subsistence myself but lots of other people contributed books, laptops and so forth. It was a big joint effort.
Link to BBC podcast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b09fzmjt
The Invisible Illness – A Covid-Inspired Fairy Tale
By Elke Maasbommel
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, people were afraid. There was something out there, something which affected the health of the people, and they didn’t quite know what it was. They only knew that it was contagious, and that nobody was safe.
It manifested itself in several ways: some people became very ill and lost their hearing. Other people had a terrible itch in their right little toe, and yet others became very grumpy. And in rare cases, it caused severe fits of laughter. It kept spreading and spreading, and soon people all over the large kingdom showed symptoms. What also didn’t help was that there were also people who were itchy by nature, or were simply never happy, and then it all became rather confusing.
They didn’t know whether it was an illness or a monster (or a monster spreading illness, or an ill monster, or any other combination). They did notice that there seemed to be fewer cases of the Syndrome, as they called it, if people stayed inside. Was it because the monster didn’t dare enter houses? Or was it because the illness jumped to other people like fleas? Nobody knew. And that’s how the kingdom did not only become afraid, but also silent.
Silently the people started wondering what had to be done. From all over the kingdom the best scientists, most renowned doctors, and the cleverest witches and wizards, as well as some druids and ancient librarians (and some people who had just walked in because they were curious), were asked to come to the capital and find a solution. They talked for days on end, but all to no avail. To make matters worse, they started showing symptoms too. One of the wizards had such an itchy toe, and became so grumpy, that he punched a librarian in the nose, and she had to go to the hospital straight away. It was then decided that people had to go back to their own village and do their research from home.
After weeks of receiving no news at all, the people were starting to get restless, and turned to the King and Queen for a solution. They, however, stayed silent too. They kept telling the people to be calm and to wait, but slowly the atmosphere in the towns and villages became more and more oppressed. People started going out on the streets to protest, but that only resulted in more sick people.
The mysterious illness spared no one, not even the Princess’s boyfriend. And he was more afflicted than others: he couldn’t hear a single thing anymore, and had such terrible outbursts of laughter, that his vocal chords were damaged severely.
Naja, the Princess, feared for her boyfriend’s life, and decided to take matters into her own hands. She set out for the far eastern part of the kingdom (for that, people claimed, was where the first symptoms had come from), and find out what was going on. On her way, she found many villages with empty streets and deserted squares, and people looking at her from behind their windows. She became more desperate with each town she passed.
One day she arrived at a village, tired after long hours of horse riding, and she realised that there were no sick people there at all. Everyone seemed cheerful, and nobody was excessively grumpy (apart from one man leaning against a lamppost). However, when she asked the people how this was possible, she couldn’t understand what they were saying, for the people spoke in quite an unintelligible accent (and lamppost-man seemed only to be speaking in vowels). She saw them pointing to strange fluffy balls that were rolling around all over the village, but decided to carry on. She must be getting close to the cure!
Naja continued on her journey, until she eventually reached an ancient forest. There was only a small path leading into the woods, but she felt she had to follow it. She had to climb over tree trunks, jump across puddles, and avoid being cut by brambles. The further she walked, the more she had the feeling that shapes were moving just out of sight. She tried to listen, but she realised that her hearing had deteriorated ever since she had entered the forest. The canopy of leaves became thicker and thicker, and it took her a lot of effort to stay on the path. The shapes in the dark seemed to be surrounding her, and a feeling of absolute dread overtook her. She was so frightened that she wanted to turn back, but at that moment she stumbled upon a glade in the centre of the forest – and she was petrified by what she saw there.
A huge monster was sitting there, dark green, with two long arms and two short, thick legs with six enormous toes on each. It had a massive snout, fluffy little ears, and great big, blue eyes, and a giant mouth with an enormous purple tongue inside it. But the scariest part was that it had many, many children. They looked like their mother, but they were much smaller. They had long tails and were covered in thick blue fur all over their little bodies.
Naja could not even begin counting them, for they would scurry around the glade so fast she could not tell them apart. As one entity they were approaching her, slowly but surely, like a ripple in the water. She scratched her toe, and asked the monster, quietly and timidly (she thought – but in fact it was rather loud since she had lost her hearing), if it was the cause of all the illnesses in the land.
“I am,” it said, “and I am sorry.” Naja was surprised by its voice; despite the size and the frightful appearance of the monster, it sounded very kind. She felt strengthened by this, because it could mean her quest had not been in vain, and the monster might be willing to help her.
“Well, madam Monster, could you perhaps help me out? People are dying, and they’re angry, and we don’t know what to do. Why are you doing this to us?”
“It’s my children. There are so many of them, and they just want to have some attention. See how they’re flocking towards you? They just love people, and they mean no harm. They just want to get out of this forest. I’ve been stuck here for ages, and I don’t want them to share my fate. I’m too old and too big to move, but they still can.”
Naja saw the wave of tiny monsters coming closer and closer, and the closer they came, the more ill she became. She became angry, and shouted that she would kill them all if the monster would not fix her. (She was too grumpy to realise that this was probably one of the symptoms of the Syndrome.)
But the monster couldn’t, or wouldn’t, fix her. It wouldn’t even move. All it said was: “Please don’t kill my children. They really don’t mean to hurt you.”
Naja shrieked, and stood still. (It’s not like there was anything else she could do, for her toe itched so badly that she couldn’t walk anymore.) Eventually, one of the monsters touched her. And immediately she felt a huge relief going through her body. She picked up the monster, and soon she was not suffering from any symptoms anymore.
That must be it then! People reacted very badly to the furry little monsters! And because their mother had allowed them to roam around freely, they had reached all the villages in the kingdom, leaving a trail of itchy toes, deafness, and grumpiness wherever they went. And that’s why people seemed to get better when they stayed inside: the monsters wouldn’t come close enough! And the cure was to let the monsters touch them – that was what the people in the village must have been trying to tell her. She had an idea.
“Dear monster, I’m so happy I’ve found the source of the strange illness that has been hurting the country. Here’s what we could do: I will go back to my parents, the King and Queen, and tell them about you. I will have them send for you, so you can live in the castle and see some more of the world. Your children will follow you, and if they play with the people they meet, they will heal the entire kingdom.”
And so it happened. Naja took all the little monsters with her, and told everyone she met that they could have a monster of their own. Slowly the kingdom recovered, and everything returned to the way it was before. The monsters turned out to be plenty of fun, too; people enjoyed having a friend with them at all times, and even gave them names.
Naja’s boyfriend recovered, too, and they soon got married. A huge party was organised, bigger than ever before. Everyone was invited, and they were allowed to bring their little monsters, too. The kingdom had never felt this alive, and they lived happily, and symptom-free, ever after.
In memoriam Loes Baning
Cheribon, 3 March 1924 Meppel, 27 April 2020
She left Groningen forty years ago, but those of us who knew her still remember her vividly: Loes Baning, a staff member at our department (then the Anglistic Institute) who taught all there was to know about England, the English language, the English people, and all their curious habits. Born Jeanne Louise Baning in Cheribon (now Cirebon, West Java) in 1924, she worked at our department from 1962 to 1980, when she and her mother retired to a flat in Steenwijk.
Loes died early last spring, quickly and quietly, at the venerable age of 96. With the Covid-19 lockdown not yet in force, the cremation ceremony was attended by some thirty people—a lot when you realize that at her age Loes must have outlived many friends and relatives. But her memory lingers on, as Annie van der Veen, Henk Kaput, and Henk Dragstra bear witness in this issue.
Horses sweat, ladies glow and men perspire
By Drs Annie van der Veen
Memories of my time at the English Department on learning of the death of Drs Jeanne Louise Baning (1924 – 2020)
It is the year of our Lord 1972. It was a good year for me. I finally left the Achterhoek and started out on my new life in Groningen. Mind you, it was about time. I had finished reading the entire Public library in Eibergen, and sort of everything of interest that there was in the school library of the RSG in Lochem. I was ready for a new challenge.
Let me try and describe life in the 60s and 70s in the Achterhoek. We did not have a telephone; in case of an emergency the whole street used the one on no. 26… We had a car, but only just. Yes, since 1965 there was a TV in our house, but in those days only broadcasts in the evening, only one Dutch channel and we had two German TV channels. My German is still near perfect…. We did not go on holidays, most certainly not abroad. The furthest away from home I had been was Arnhem, and that was only because we had relatives living there…
And then, to the horror of most of my relatives, my parents agreed to let me, a girl, go and study in Groningen. A town that to me and to them was almost the end of the world. ´What’s the use, she´s just a girl, she´ll only get married and have children´ was the criticism. But I was top of my class, eager to learn and absorb every bit of knowledge I could get. Bless my parents !
In 1972 Mr Jos van Meurs still thought that an Atheneum A certificate would not allow me and a few more of the 45 new first year students of English to go and start an academic course, but Mr Wedema soon informed him that we could. Lochem was one of the first schools in the Netherlands to have students leave with a VWO certificate. This upset a lot of the lecturers then, because we had not taken Latin as a subject. How did you study a language without knowing Latin …well, we did. Studying Old English was quite enough of a challenge… Instead Prof. Heijmans was flown in and he filled our heads with knowledge of Ancient History and Culture. Loved it..
But the classes that influenced me a great deal and set me on a course in life that I still follow today, were the classes on British Institutions. In walked a tiny little woman, immaculately dressed , leaning on a walking stick. Mrs. Baning .
Yes, there was a book for the course. Bodelsen, British Institutions. There was homework, we had to study hard, but most inspiring of all was Ms Baning´s fascination with everything English.
She told us that if you want to speak a language properly, you have to know everything there is to know about that country and its people. If possible, live among them so you know where the milk comes from that they have with their cornflakes in the morning. You have to know the brand of the cornflakes. You have to know how the milk gets to their house, how the milkman on his milk float brings the bottles to their door, how they place their orders with him. What their vacuum cleaner looks like, what brand they have…. I still have a real Hoover at home… You have to taste the real beans-on-toast, the real marmalade, the real marmite. Experience the atmosphere in the home, how they decorate it, the dishes they serve, the tablemats they use, the way people talk to each other, children to parents, people to each other. How to greet people, how to have a conversation….. Their table manners… A whole new world opened up for me…
Unfortunately Ms Baning fell ill that year, so no test on Bodelsen for us. But quite a few of us took her advice and took off to England during the summer holidays to immerse ourselves in British life ! So did I. And again my wonderful parents let me go….. With the help of an old school friend of my mother´s, who had married an English soldier, an advertisement was placed in an English Christian local paper. The addresses were checked by the soldier´s relatives, and so Boukje Luttjeboer and I went to England to spend our summer holidays as au-pairs with English families. We loved it. For me it was the beginning of a friendship with Norman and Janet that has lasted till this very day….
Many more summer holidays with summer jobs in England followed. Boy, did I learn a lot… Mistakes, blunders even, but loved every minute that I spent in jolly Old England. Grabbed every opportunity there was to get there. Took part in walking trips organized by Anthony Davies. To Offa´s Dyke, to Hadrian´s Wall. Mary Joe Arn and husband Ken came along on one of these trips.
At the Institute at the Kruisstraat Ms Baning continued her classes on British Institutions and Essay Writing during the years I was there. She shared a room with Ank de Witt Wijnen and Liesbeth Verpalen, which subsequently was dubbed by us students the ‘Dreimädelhaus´.
My lifelong friend Geert Barkhof worked as a student assistant on the Zagreb Project, researching the influence of English on the Dutch language…. Ha ha…. Try explaining that to students nowadays….I think Ms Baning was involved in that project as well, together with Christien Gramser, Jan Posthumus and Jetty de Vries, but correct me if I am wrong. I am talking about events that took place between 1972 and 1980.
In 1981 she retired and staff and personnel threw her a big farewell party. Photos show people like prof. Riewald, prof. Gerritsen, Gerrit Bunt , Gerard Verheyden, Mary Joe Arn and husband Ken, Nico Robat, Koos Gräper, Alasdair McKinnon, Jan Verleun, Jan Bakker, the department´s invaluable secretaries Liz Boomsma and Mariejan Grisel. They all held her in high esteem, for her knowledge, for her enthusiasm, for her warm personality, for her ´being such a good sport’.
Ms Baning set me on this course of becoming an Anglophile. Her enthusiasm for England, its people and the language struck a chord. Since I am married to the wonderful Con Diender, who is an even bigger Anglophile than I am, the saying ´Ms Baning would be proud of me´ can still be heard every now and then in our home. It is BBC for us, it is keeping up with English politics, literature of the English speaking world etc. The lessons I taught at school were based on everyday life, texts from newspapers and books and whenever possible I would teach my students about British Institutions. In English. As often as possible. And with a lot of enthusiasm. Because I loved it.
Yes, Ms Baning certainly left her mark. And isn´t that what teaching is all about…
Remembering Loes Baning
By Henk Kaput, English student 1970 – 1977
‘The first sentence is probably the most difficult’ (though not on 20th March).This sentence could not be more true for any first year student trying their hand at their first assignments in précis writing. Especially so since précis writing has to conform to rigorous standards:
At the time (1971/1972) Loes Baning was teaching us précis writing from a book titled ‘Comprehension and Précis’. At one time the subject was a poem by the Welsh poet R. S. Thomas, ‘Cynddylan on a Tractor’. After an introduction and discussion in class were asked to hand in a précis of the poem the next week.
Now, when inspiration and the strict demands of précis writing meet, it is usually the former that suffers. And that is exactly what happened that week. With the due date nearing, time was running out. As had happened before on other occasions, I left it to the day itself. An unusally early start of the day proved very auspicious and after having tackled the hurdle of that first sentence I felt quite happy with the result, fortunately not marred at the time by the vast stores of information you can find these days only a few clicks away. If you feel tempted though, here is a bit of click-bait: https://allpoetry.com/Cynddylan-on-a-Tractor
Now I do not remember what I wrote and whether it fully conformed to the essentials of précis writing and neither do I know how it was graded by Miss Baning but I do remember how elated I felt about having completed it as I ended my piece with the following: ‘Written on the first day of spring; a new spring, a new beginning’, to which her written comment was: ‘Yes, always!’ (exclamation mark hers)
Afscheid van Loes
By Henk Dragstra
Loes Baning kwam in het Anglistisch Instituut als docent werken in 1962, en ik kwam er als student in 1964, maar ik heb nooit college van haar gehad. Ook als collega heb ik weinig met haar samengewerkt; maar dat wil niet zeggen dat ze onopgemerkt bleef. Met haar stok, haar keurig verzorgde kleding en kapsel, en dat tikje Oosterse uiterlijk was ze een imposante verschijning, die je niet kon negeren. Je kon zien dat ze moeite moest doen om overeind te blijven, en dat ze daarin slaagde dankzij een ijzeren zelfdiscipline.
Niet dat ze zich streng of hautain opstelde; integendeel, als ze in de Afdelingsraad of een andere vergadering het woord nam was het altijd in uiterste bescheidenheid. Ze vergeleek zichzelf dan vaak met Winnie-the-Pooh, een beer met maar weinig hersens. Ongetwijfeld meende ze dat oprecht, maar ze gaf daarmee aan haar woorden tevens een overtuigende draai van eenvoud en common sense. En wat ze zei was ook vaak eenvoudig en verstandig.
Pas tegen het eind van haar werkende leven heb ik haar wat beter leren kennen. Door een toeval moesten we samen een enorme stapel tentamenpapieren becijferen, eerstejaars, geloof ik. Langdurig, saai werk, waar we allebei tegen opzagen, en daarom nodigde Loes me bij haar thuis uit om die klus gezamenlijk te klaren. Dan konden we elkaar om raad vragen en af en toe iets nuttigen.
Het nakijken van de tentamens ging inderdaad redelijk vlot, en voor de consumpties zorgde Moes, dat was Loes’ moeder. Een schattig vrouwtje, type Indische tante, die hield van koken en trakteren en praten. Toen het tijd werd voor de lunch dekte ze een tafel met damast en porselein en tafelzilver, en zette in het midden een blinkende zilveren dekschaal. Toen het deksel van de schaal werd gelicht bleken daarin drie loempia’s te liggen.
Dat dit moment van onthulling me is bijgebleven zal wel zijn omdat het me iets vertelde over Loes en Moes. Een onberispelijke Europese buitenkant, en een simpele Oosterse inhoud. Winnie-the-Pooh inderdaad, maar dan Indisch.
In die dagen hadden we een echt afdelingsblaadje, dat regelmatig uitkwam en royaal gevuld werd, de ‘Icebreaker’. Af en toe verscheen er onder de titel ‘The human being behind the teacher’ een autobiografisch stukje van een staflid. Loes wist haar beurt lang te ontlopen, maar bij haar afscheid in 1980 kon ze er niet meer omheen. Ze vertelde wat—niet veel—over haar achtergrond.
Loes’ vader kwam uit Dalen, als telg van ‘one of the oldest farmers’ families in Drente’, zoals ze niet zonder trots vermeldde. Haar moeder daarentegen was van Boeginese afkomst, dus van het eiland Celebes, dat tegenwoordig Sulawesi heet. Let op hoe Loes dat zelf onder woorden brengt: ’if the oral tradition in my mother’s family is to be believed, I have had a drop too much. Of Buginese blood, that is.’
Zoiets zul je tegenwoordig niet gauw meer iemand horen zeggen, maar het tekent de Indo-Europese wereld waarin Loes was opgegroeid, een wereld waarin Drents toch echt heel wat beter was dan Boeginees. En waarin Indo-Europese meisjes zo veel mogelijk moesten lijken op Nederlandse meisjes.
Hoezeer Loes aan die eis heeft voldaan is een beetje te proeven in het ‘Soerabaijasch Handelsblad’ van 18 augustus 1934, waar we haar naam tegenkomen; ze is dan tien jaar oud en woont Bogowontostraat 18. Onder de rubriek ‘Wie wil met mij ruilen?’ biedt zij aan wat ze dubbel heeft: plaatjes voor o.a. Vlinders van Java, Kwattasoldaatjes, Top soap bons, bons voor het verzamelwerk Nederlandsche Heraldiek, en voor het Album Nederlandsche jeugd in Nat. Dracht, dit alles in ruil voor Wonderen der Wereld en Benito plaatjes.
En dat is maar één van de vele keren dat Loes via de krant ruilhandel dreef met plaatjes en ‘bons’. Zoals Nederlandse ouders van zekere standing van hun kinderen verwachtten, probeerde ze haar horizon te verbreden via boeken, blaadjes, plaatjes, en elk ander materiaal waaruit je kennis kunt opdoen. Kennis is macht—en plezier.
Die boodschap heeft ze aan haar studenten doorgegeven, zoals we in Annie’s herinneringen kunnen lezen. Maar van gezelligheid en muziek en lekker eten hield ze ook. Degenen die haar afscheid hebben helpen vieren met een diner in Borg Verhildersum hebben daarvan meegenoten.
Nu nemen we dus nogmaals afscheid. Vaarwel, Loes! Naar de lichte en donkere kanten van je leven in Indië en Nederland kan ik alleen maar raden. Maar geloof me, je Boeginese afkomst misstond je niet. Wat mij betreft hadden het wel meer druppeltjes mogen zijn.
By Marjan Brouwers
How many of us language en literature lovers have ever dreamt about becoming writers ourselves? We know there are quite some translators, copyrwiters, journalists and translators among our members. How about novelists, writers and poets? From now on we would like to include news about publications by our members as well as staff and personell of the English Department. Please send us the cover of your publication, a photograph of yourself (for instance holding your book if you like) and a short summary of your work. We will include in the upcoming editions of the Anglophile.
Now, as member of this board, I was a little bit in doubt whether it was okay to tell you lot about my new novel. Since we are open to showcase your publications, we (my fellow board members) decided I could, being an alumna of the club myself.
So, I would like to introduce my novel Leegland to you. It is a story set in the Netherlands some time in the future. The world has changed for the worst: a climate war has destroyed civilication, flooding most of our country, democracy is down the drain and a dreadful virus has ravaged the population. Yes, a virus which I invented back in 2016. Imagine my surprise when Covid-19 struck in the week I e-mailed my manusript to my publisher Anton Scheepstra. Now, in my story we follow the adventures of two young people who are trying to find a place where they can be free and happy.
Leegland was published by Uitgevery Passage Groningen in October 2020 and is avaiable at your local book store. More infomation about the book you can find on my webstie: http://leegland.nl.