Van-Heemstra_Marjolijn_In-Search-of-a-Name
2022 Longlist

In Search of a Name

Translated from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Marjolijn van Heemstra has heard about her great-uncle’s heroism for as long as she can remember. As a resistance fighter, he was the mastermind of a bombing operation that killed a Dutch man who collaborated with the Nazis, and later became a hero to everyone in the family.

So, when Marjolijn’s grandmother bestows her with her great-uncle’s signet ring requesting that she name her future son after him, Marjolijn can’t say no. Now pregnant with her firstborn, she embarks on a quest to uncover the true story behind the myth of her late relative. Chasing leads from friends and family, and doing her own local research, Marolijn realizes that the audacious story she always heard is not as clear-cut as it was made out to be. As her belly grows, her doubts grow, too—was her uncle a hero or a criminal?

Vivid, hypnotic, and profoundly moving, In Search of a Name explores war and its aftermath and how the stories we tell and the stories we are told always seem to exist somewhere between truth and fiction.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Marjolijn
Van Heemstra

Marjolijn van Heemstra, is a Dutch poet, novelist, and playwright. Her first poetry collection, If Moses Had Been More Persistent, won the Jo Peters Poetry Prize. Her debut novel was The Last of the Aedemas. Her latest novel, In Search of a Name, was nominated for multiple national prizes and has been translated into nine languages.

Marjolijn van Heemstra, is a Dutch poet, novelist, and playwright. Her first poetry collection, If Moses Had Been More Persistent, won the Jo Peters Poetry Prize. Her debut novel was The Last of the Aedemas. Her latest novel, In Search of a Name, was nominated for multiple national prizes and has been translated into nine languages.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Jonathan
Reeder

Jonathan Reeder  enjoys enjoy a dual career as a literary translator and performing musician. Alongside his work as a professional bassoonist, he translates opera libretti and essays on classical music, as well as contemporary Dutch and Flemish fiction and non-fiction. He is endorsed by Flanders Literature, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and the Expertise Center for Literary Translation.

Jonathan Reeder  enjoys enjoy a dual career as a literary translator and performing musician. Alongside his work as a professional bassoonist, he translates opera libretti and essays on classical music, as well as contemporary Dutch and Flemish fiction and non-fiction. He is endorsed by Flanders Literature, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and the Expertise Center for Literary Translation.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The book is about a woman in search of the truth behind the action of a family member (the bombing of a traitor just after World war 2) , seen as a resistance hero. But was he a hero? Was the traitor a traitor? The narrator wants to name her yet unborn son after this distant uncle and dives into his history. It shows that facts can also be stories and otherwise. Intriguing until the end.

Bibliotheek Utrecht (Utrecht Public Library), Netherlands

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
24/11/2020
Country
The Netherlands
Publisher
Simon and Schuster
Translator
Jonathan Reeder
Translation
Translated from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder

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