Yasmine Allas

Yasmine Allas (b. 1967) arrived in the Netherlands in 1987. She attended drama school, acted with various companies, and performed her own solo show. In 1998, she made her writing debut with the successful novel, Idil, een meisje (Idil, A Girl). Her second novel, De generaal met de zes vingers (The General with Six Fingers), 2001, was also highly acclaimed. In 2004, De blauwe kamer (The Blue Room) was published, followed by an essay collection entitled, Ontheemd en toch thuis (Uprooted but Still Home), 2006, on coping with Dutch culture and her own background and beliefs. Een nagelaten verhaal (A Handed-Down History), her fourth novel, has also been very well received and has been reprinted several times since its recent publication.

A Handed-Down History

A Handed-Down History

(De Bezige Bij, 2010, 270 pages)

At a young age, the writer Yasmine Allas fled Somalia after her father was murdered during the civil war. For years she sought a way to return to the city where she grew up, until one day she was approached about making a television documentary about her youth. When she arrived in Africa, she found that everything had changed beyond recognition; the landscape was ravaged and the population had moved away. She realized that it was impossible to revive the past if you were continually escorted by a camera team. There was only one option: to use her imagination. And this is exactly what she has done in this extraordinary and original novel.

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