A Paperback edition by Erwin Mortier in English and Dutch; Flemish (Aug 6, 2015)
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While the Gods Were Sleeping is a novel about the magnitude and impact of the First World War, the recollections of which are recorded in the notebooks of the elderly Helena. The... Read more
While the Gods Were Sleeping is a novel about the magnitude and impact of the First World War, the recollections of which are recorded in the notebooks of the elderly Helena. The young Helena is sent to her uncle's country house before the war, and from here she witnesses scenes of indescribable horror. But it is also where she meets Matthew again, a British Army photographer who she goes on to marry. This is a story not about spectacular events; rather, Mortier is concerned with writing about war, history and the past with great empathy and engagement, and with a mixture of melancholy, qualification and resignation.
While the Gods Were Sleeping Paperback edition by Erwin Mortier
Erwin Mortier (1965) made his mark in 1999 with his debut novel Marcel, which was awarded several prizes in Belgium and the Netherlands, and received acclaim throughout Europe. In the following years he quickly built up a reputation as of one the leading authors of his generation. His novel While the Gods were Sleeping received the AKO Literature Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the Netherlands. His latest work, Stammered Songbook: A Mother's Book of Hours, a raw yet tender elegy about illness and loss, was met with unanimous praise. Mortier's evocative descriptions bring past worlds brilliantly to life.
'What makes me saddest, is the double silence of her being. Language has packed its bags and jumped over the railing of the capsizing ship, but there is also another silence in her or around her. I can no longer hear the music of her soul.' ...
While the Gods Were Sleeping is a novel about the magnitude and impact of the First World War, the recollections of which are recorded in the notebooks of the elderly Helena. The young Helena is sent to her uncle's country house before the war, and from here she witnesses scenes of indescribable horror. But it is also where she meets Matthew again, a British Army photographer who she goes on to...
Der neunzigjährigen Helena drängen sich die Bilder ihres Lebens auf. Eine letzte Inventur, die sie in der Obhut ihrer Pflegerin Rachida vornimmt. Orte suchen sie im Halbschlaf auf, Requisitenkammern vom Schauspiel ihrer Existenz. Da ist die Kindheit in Flandern, in der sie nur handarbeiten und Konversation betreiben durfte. Oder die Jahre des Ersten Weltkriegs kehren wie ein Echo zu Helena...
As Anton grows up each tentative step on the path to adulthood brings knowledge, understanding and responsibility. Through the eyes of this impressionable and observant young boy, we witness the loss of innocence as he comes to terms with time's passing and inevitable death.
Joris has lived with his aunt and uncle in a village since his childhood; his father died young and his mother moved to Spain. He is a quiet and introverted child who, his relatives fear, resents the loss of his parents deeply. The gentle rhythm of life, however, is about to be disturbed, awakening in Joris charged memories of his dead father.
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