A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience
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$19.99 Paper, 146 pp.
Release Date: Forthcoming
Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience is Carolyne Van Der Meer’s creative reinterpretation through short stories, poems, and essays of the experiences of her mother and other individuals who spent their childhood in Nazi-occupied Holland or were deeply affected by wartime in Holland. The book documents the author’s personal journey as she uncovers her mother’s past through their correspondence and discussion and through research in the Netherlands. Motherlode also considers mother—daughter relationships and the effect of wartime on motherhood.
Motherlode is not about recording precise historical data; rather, it attempts to recover and interpret the complex emotions of the individuals growing up in wartime. The book is based on interviews with the author’s mother and other Dutch Canadians, interviews with and letters from Canadian Jewish war veterans, and information provided by individuals with direct or indirect experience of the Dutch Resistance. The creative pieces explore onderduik (going into/being in hiding), life in an occupied country, the work of the Dutch Resistance, liberation, collective and individual cultural memory, and the way in which wartime childhoods shaped adulthood for these individuals.
Carolyne Van Der Meer is a journalist, public relations professional, and university lecturer. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature from the University of Ottawa and Concordia University, respectively, and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. She has published journalistic articles, essays, short stories, and poems in publications in Canada and internationally.
“Motherlode is Carolyne Van Der Meer’s Orphic journey to reclaim the past of her mother, a child during the five years of Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The mosaic of poetry, fiction, and reminiscence is her Dodenherdenking, a remembrance of the dead, but also her immersion in the Lake of Memory. Her quest to understand a loved one expresses the need of every child and every parent to know and to be remembered. If the past is a foreign country, Van Der Meer shows us that with empathy and imagination we can enter that land as more than mere tourists.”
— Steven Manners, author of Ondine’s Curse and Valley of Fire
“A mesmerizing journey through occupied wartime Netherlands; the voices emerging from the pages are haunting: replete with powerful emotions and modernity.”
— Isabelle Laflèche, author of J’adore New York and J’adore Paris