Back by dope demand



Mijn dierbare tweede roman uit 2006, Wanneer wij samen zijn, wordt deze zomer opnieuw uitgegeven! Verkrijgbaar vanaf juni, met een nieuw omslag en voor een zomers prijsje van 12,50 euro. Niet normaal! Meer informatie over deze generatieroman vind je hier. En hier lees je wat de pers erover te zeggen had.



One of my older novels will be available again soon! When we are together, a novel about three generations in an Indonesian family that migrates from Asia to South America and Europe, was published back in 2006. This summer it will come out in a new edition for the Dutch market. Please read an English excerpt here:

Scenes from: Wanneer wij samen zijn (When we’re together) 2006

(translation: Paul Vincent)



This story begins with Wagiman, the child of Javanese parents, born in Surinam, a country traditionally exposed to winds from every corner of the globe and with a multi-coloured history.

When Wagiman came into the world, his mother’s waters flowed onto the same earth that just over half a century earlier had been drenched with the blood of runaway black slaves. Little Wagiman took his first tearful breaths without knowing how many tears had been shed before him. No one was to tell him about the revolt of that other workforce. No one was to tell him about the many events that complicated the lives of the plantation owners and added to the interminable list of atrocities to which the black population of Surinam was subjected.

Wagiman knew nothing of the sugar cane mill workers, the black medical orderlies, the cleaning women and the Creole matrons who streamed exhausted to the towns, where for the first time in history they could live their own lives. The black men who learned what it meant to be paid for their labour. The women who learnt what it meant to bear a child that did not automatically become the property of the person who owned its mother. He did not know that while the slaves of Surinam were gradually adjusting to the recognition of their humanity, scores of boats full of British Indians had sped across the ocean to fill the gap left by the slaves. That anxious plantation owners had wrung their hands because of the excessive protection given to the Indian coolies by the British authorities. Wagiman did not become part of Surinamese history until the Netherlands decided to call on its own resources and to send shiploads of Javanese, who might not be as strong as the blacks or even the Indians, but were at any rate Dutch citizens and could therefore be treated as one saw fit.

Hence from the end of the nineteenth century onwards a steady stream of Javanese crossed the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic. An East-Indies enclave was created on the Caribbean coast of South America. So it came about that Surinamese plants sprang up where African and Western blood had mingled and that Indian sweat flowed where Javanese women screamed in the primeval throes of labour, giving birth to a first generation of Javanese Surinamers.


Andere posts...