Monika van Paemel

Monika van Paemel was born in East Flanders in 1945. Her biography can be drawn directly from her oeuvre. Her novels cover all the details of her life: not only the protracted childhood illness that led to her love of reading, but also her virtually parentless upbringing, the grandparents she lived with, and her years at boarding school. Van Paemel made her literary debut with the novel Amazone met het blauwe voorhoofd (Amazon with the Blue Forehead). Her later books include the famous Marguerite (1976), about her grandmother, and her masterpiece De vermaledijde vaders (The Accursed Fathers, 1985). In 1993 she published the novel De eerste steen (The First Stone). Her newest novel, Rozen op ijs (Roses on Ice), can be seen as a continuation of the kaleidoscopic project she started in De vermaledijde vaders.

Roses on Ice

(J.M. Meulenhoff, 1997, 420 pages)

There are reasons why Perla should voluntarily accept the status of an environmental activist. That she has never registered at the Registry Office comes as no surprise either. The anonymity this gives the protagonist of Rozen op ijs is familiar from other Monika van Paemel characters. Like her earlier work, this sizeable novel can be seen as a quest for identity.

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