A Conversation with Adriaan van Dis
A one-on-one conversation with much-loved writer Adriaan van Dis.
The subject matter includes his new novel Ik kom terug (I'm Coming Back). Historian and TV host Hans Goedkoop leads the interview.
Adriaan van Dis is a journalist, television host, and one of the preeminent writers in the Netherlands. In the fall of 2014 he published Ik kom terug (I'm Coming Back) to brilliant reviews. It focusses on Van Dis' mother. Married to a member of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army who was murdered during the Japanese occupation, she and her three daughters ended up in an internment camp. Then she met the Indonesian man with whom she would return to the Netherlands (with her daughters), and who would become Adriaan's father. In the novel, the son describes his difficult relationship with his mother. He took notes during their phone calls that allowed him to portray her truthfully, mercilessly, but ultimately with a great deal of love and understanding. Aside from an all-revealing portait of his mother, the book also constitutes a razor-sharp definition of the idea of "home." What does it mean for a human life when "home" is both the safest and least safe place on earth?
Adriaan van Dis will be in conversation with Hans Goedkoop, who studied history, is the biographer of Herman Heijermans and Renate Rubinstein, and is especially recognized as host of the VPRO program "Andere Tijden" ("Different Times"). In 2012 he published De laatste man (The last man), about his grandfather, who fought in the Dutch East Indies war in the late 1940s.