Tom Lanoye introduces South-African writer Marianne Thamm - Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and me
South-African writer, journalist and occasional comedian Marianne Thamm grew up in the heydays of Apartheid, amid Afrikaans neighbours in Pretoria's less salubrious suburbs. Today, she is an outspoken feminist icon and proud mother of two teenagers.
In her book she recounts her unconventional life story with great honesty and humour. Her German father who fought for Hitler and married her Portuguese mother in England, where she was working as a cleaner. Told in her inimitable, frank and funny voice, Marianne's memoirs offers a poignant, often hilarious account of her complex relationship with her parents, her father in particular, and the ever-present ghosts of history. Only after she adopted two black orphan girls, her father distanced himself from his Nazi sympathies.
Marianne's story of belonging, love and loss, set against the backdrops of Nazi Germany, Apartheid, and a free South Africa, is deeply affecting, and filled with wisdom and hope.
Marianne Thamm was interviewed by the renowned Flemish writer Tom Lanoye, who lives in South-Africa most of the year. In his introduction to the Dutch translation De ondraaglijke blankheid van het bestaan, he wrote: 'Nobody but a fantasist could have made up a crazy story like this'.
B-Unlimited Friday 20th April
Tom Lanoye introduces South-African writer Marianne Thamm
Program compiled by Ilonka Reintjens (Writers Unlimited)
Book sales: Van Stockum Boekverkopers
Centrale Bibliotheek, Studio B, Spui 68, Den Haag