Jessica Durlacher

Jessica Durlacher (b. 1961), daughter of author G.L. Durlacher, made her debut in 1997 with The Conscience. It was quickly followed by the novels The Daughter (2000) and Emoticon (2004). Durlacher also translated both volumes of Maus by Art Spiegelman, a graphic novel about the persecution of the Jews, and has written a number of novellas: Arthuro d’Alberti (2005), Writers! (2006) and What Happened to Cathy M? (2007). Her work has been translated into several languages and won her a number of literary prizes. For The Hero she received the Opzij Literature Prize.

The Hero

The Hero

(De Bezige Bij, 2010, 382 pages)

The central character in Jessica Durlacher’s novel The Hero is Sara Silverstein, married with two children and a journalist by profession. When Sara’s father dies, several apparently inexplicable, catastrophic events follow. It then emerges that all the misfortune originates from a single source, the Second World War, when as a young boy Sara’s father lost his parents in the camps and was left to survive on his own. Later Sara’s family meets Raaijmakers, descendant to the traitor of those years. Will either party succeed in breaking loose from the monstrous past?

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