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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Motherlode A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience

Carolyne Van Der Meer's book Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience is now available from Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

I had the pleasure of meeting Carolyne in 2011 when she contributed her poem In Central Station to Boyne Berries 10  and attended the Trim and Galway launches of Boyne Berries 10.  Since then Carolyne has been a firm friend of the Boyne Writers' Group.  Her poem Atonement appeared in Boyne Berries 11 and most recently Re-Imagining Italy on the Train was published in Boyne Berries 14 (guest-edited by Kate Dempsey).  Carolyne lives and writes in Montreal. 

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.


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