Thursday, June 20, 2013

TRANSLATION: The Borrowed House Now in Dutch!

It was a great source of disappointment for my late mother, Hilda van Stockum (1908-2006), that during her lifetime none of her books was ever translated into her native Dutch language. She was born in Rotterdam and wrote five books* about Holland, although several publishers have over the years discussed with me the possibility of bying rights.

Hilda van Stockum's obituary in Het Parool described her as a famous writer and illustrator - famous everywhere in the world except her native country,  the Netherlands.

My mother always said that fame doesn't come until after one is dead. To which a granddaughter responded, trying to console her with the honors to come: "But Granny, you are almost dead."

The English Edition

Now the granddaughter's prediction about her prospects  is coming true. The first Dutch edition of a Hilda van Stockum came out last week. It was a translation of The Borrowed House. The Dutch name - the Dutch being less forgiving about the Nazi Occupation than an English-language publisher - is Het Gestolen Huis (The Stolen House).

*Her five books about Holland were A Day on Skates (her first, 1934; it was a Newbery Honor Roll book), Andries, Gerrit and the Organ, The Winged Watchman (1962) and The Borrowed House (her last full-length book, 1975).


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