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The Sorrow of Flanders (Het Verdriet van Vlaanderen)

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Original Language: Dutch | 352 pp. | February 2019

2 Seas Represents: French rights

Over 6,000 copies sold

NON-FICTION | HISTORY | WWII

Touching book on the taboo that is collaboration.

A journey with Hein and Toon, twins of the collaboration.

Flanders and the Netherlands have a long tradition of keeping silent about the disgraceful collaboration with the German Occupation during the Second World War. Twin brothers Hein and Toon Van den Brempt want to break that silence. Their father was an SS man, their mother worked as a secretary for Richard Jungclaus, head of the Belgian SS. Their testimony was an impressive contribution to the successful Canvas series Children of the Collaboration. Realizing that there was much more to tell and discover, the brothers contacted writer Kristien Hemmerechts. Together they went on a journey to search for the truth behind the taboos, the half-truths, the lies and the myths. They searched in archives and travelled to ‘loaded’ places. This book takes the reader on their fascinating and surprising quest.

Kristien Hemmerechts (b. 1955) is known for her outspoken opinions on social issues in which she doesn’t shy away from controversy. Her extensive body of work contains frequently awarded novels, collections of short stories and autobiographical essays, mostly focussing on relationships, trauma and desire. Her most famous work is Language Without Me, an autobiographical essay in commemoration of her late husband, the celebrated Flemish poet Herman de Coninck.