A genius of the heart

A genius of the heart

Translating Anton de Kom’s We Slaves of Suriname

29 June 2021 - David McKay

I live and work in Bezuidenhout, a mainly residential area of The Hague to the south of a large wooded park, the Haagse Bos. During World War II, this park was used by the German occupying forces as cover for the V2 rockets fired at English cities. On March 3, 1945, the Royal Air Force tried to bomb the Haagse Bos, but the pilots were given the wrong coordinates. This human error led to the tragic destruction of much of Bezuidenhout by Allied aircraft.

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David McKay

David McKay is an award-winning literary translator who lives in The Hague. His recent translations include The Convert by Stefan Hertmans, and the classic political novel Max Havelaar by Multatuli, about Dutch misrule in the East Indies, a joint translation with Ina Rilke that was shortlisted for the Oxford Weidenfeld Prize. For more information, see www.openbooktranslation.com