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Marcel Möring in gesprek met Sanneke van Hassel en Onno Blom

Mild complaints - Sanneke van Hassel

A family celebrating a disastrous April Fool's Day during the lockdown, a cleaning lady who encounters a woman in an empty office who cannot cope at home and a GP who is threatened online. With Mild Complaints, Sanneke van Hassel brings ten compelling stories that take place in a time of no shaking hands, splash screens and blue skies, of restrictive measures and being kind to each other. The stories, written in a clear style with charged sentences, subtly interact with each other. With unforgettable images, Van Hassel shows how the pandemic brought us together and drove us apart.

Sanneke van Hassel (Rotterdam, 1971) wrote seven collections of short stories and two novels. Her work is praised for its clear tone and refinement and has been awarded the BNG New Literature Prize and the Anna Blaman Prize. She is also a member of the Fixdit author collective and an advocate of the short story. Her collection of short stories , Settlements, was widely praised. Her latest collection, Mild Complaints, was published in April 2024.

War pigeon - A family chronicle - Onno Blom

In War Pigeon, Onno Blom tells for the first time the hidden history that tore his family apart. His grandfather, Jan Blom, was in the resistance during the Second World War. But his great-grandfather, Johan Blom, was a member of the NSB with his wife and seven other children. Just before the Hunger Winter, Jan joined the armed resistance group De Duif in Friesland. There his best friend was caught by the Germans and executed. Johan died in the summer of 1945 in Westerbork camp, where collaborators were imprisoned after the liberation.

Miraculously, family ties were restored after the war. No one noticed anything about the Blommen. There was silence about the black past. Until Onno decided to break the silence. Together with his father, the historian Hans Blom and former director of the NIOD, he went in search of what happened to his grandfather and great-grandfather. Due to its sharp style and great narrative power, Krijgsduif reads like an exciting novel, in which a dark time is sensitively illuminated. 'For me it is good if it is true,' Onno's father tells him, 'for you it is true if it is beautiful.'

Onno Blom (1969) is a writer, biographer, documentary maker and literary critic for de Volkskrant and Nieuwsweekend on NPO Radio 1. In 2017 he obtained his PhD for The Scar of Death , the biography of Jan Wolkers, which was awarded the Dutch Biography Prize. In 2019 he wrote The Young Rembrandt , which was also highly praised in England and America. In 2020 he published an intimate portrait of Harry Mulisch's late life: The Wonderful Greybeard . War Pigeon was published at the end of April 2024, in which Blom talks about the hidden history that tore his family apart.

All dates

Sun 26 May
15:00 - 16:30

Sunday 26 May

15:00 - 16:30
Bookstore Donner -  Coolsingel 129, Centrum
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