In conversation with Tommy Wieringa
Laura de Jong
Keke Keukelaar 2023
Dutch author Tommy Wieringa is a multi-award-winning writer whose 2005 coming-of-age novel Joe Speedboat launched an international career, with his work translated worldwide and nominated for literary prizes including the International Booker.
His latest epic novel Nirwana spans generations and tells the story of celebrated artist Hugo Adema and his grandfather Willem Adema, an enigma whose role in World War II left many questions unanswered. He initially fought on the Eastern Front on the German side, but halfway through the war he joined the resistance, before launching a career exploiting the world’s natural resources. Was he a hero, or an opportunist?
This is the question Hugo seeks to answer as he retreats to the family estate after a heartbreak, and discovers his grandfather’s long-lost diaries, which reveal secrets the family long kept buried.
A grandfather's history leaves an inevitable mark on a grandson's present, and together they tell the story of a century in which the world flared like never before.