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Velde, Rink van Der 1932–2001

Velde, Rink van Der 1932–2001

PERSONAL: Born June 18, 1932, in Ealsum, Netherlands; died February 17, 2001, in Drachten, Netherlands.

CAREER: Writer.

WRITINGS:

Joun healwei tolven (novel), Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1962.

Forliezers (novel), Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1964.

Beafeart nei Saint-Martin, Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1965.

De Fûke, Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1966, translated into English as The Trap, Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, NY), 1997.

Geiten, Griken en Gekken, Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1967.

Rjochtdei, Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1968.

Chamsyn, Laverman (Drachten, Netherlands), 1969.

Feroaring fan lucht, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1971.

Pake Sytse, 1975.

Kruidenbitter: Kroegverhalen uit Friesland, Wereldbibliotheek (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1975.

De houn sil om jim bylje, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1978.

De Heidenen, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1981.

Foekje, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1982.

De ôfrekken, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1982.

De lange jacht, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1985.

De histoarje fam kammeraat Hallanski, Friese Pers Boekerij (Drachten, Netherlands), 1987.

Jan Hut, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1989.

De nacht fan Belse Madam, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1991.

Gjin lintsje foar Homme Veldstra, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1993.

Rjochtdei op de Skieding, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1993.

In fin mear as in bears, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1995.

Smoarge grûn, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1998.

Hepke, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 1999.

Alde Maaie (novel; title means "Old May"), Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Nether lands), 2000.

(With Hylkje Goïnga and Hylke Speerstra) Lowland Tales: Short Stories from Friesland, translated by Henry J. Baron, Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 2000.

It guozzeroer (novel; title means "The Goose Gun"), Friese Pers Boekerij (Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Netherlands), 2001.

Also author of De Kleine Kolonie, 1960.

ADAPTATIONS: The Trap is being made into a Dutch film.

SIDELIGHTS: Frisian novelist and short-story writer Rink van der Velde's novel Joun healwei tolven was published in 1962. According to Henry J. Baron, writing in World Literature Today, van der Velde's typical protagonist is often "based on a roguish historical character." Although Baron contended that this works well for van der Velde, the "nonhero" in the novel De nacht fan Belse Madam challenges the reader's expectations. Rink van der Velde, nevertheless, became one of Friesland's most prolific and popular writers. Baron, once again writing in World Literature Today, applauded van der Velde's use of a "Columbo-like character" in Gjin lintsje foar Homme Veldstra. First appearing as a serial in a provincial paper, Gjin lintsje foar Homme Veldstra, according to Baron, "worked well as a serial and … as a novel." Baron complemented van der Velde for "bringing the reader into the … presence of a set of characters who amuse, delight and surprise."

The time of the Great Plague is the historical setting for van der Velde's novel In fin mear as in bears. The protagonist is a young boy, Salomon, who is "sent into exile by his father to save him." Baron, reviewing the novel for World Literature Today, noted that van der Velde "richly evokes the aura of the period and the region" and that "against that backdrop, [the protagonist] looms large as a kind of tragic hero with an instinct for righteousness bred in his bones."

Baron also commented in World Literature Today that at the center of van der Velde's novel Hepke is "the author himself." Baron wrote that "the author's storytelling voice never fails to gain and retain the reader's interest."

In his novel De Fûke, which was translated into English as The Trap, van der Velde tells the story of a fisherman and his wife who help hide Jews from the Germans in their remote cottage in the Netherlands province of Friesland. Dutch collaborators, however, eventually bring in the fisherman for questioning, and the story focuses on the fisherman's efforts to outwit his interrogators before they carry out the execution of his son, whom they claim to have captured. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "a gem of a novel with universal appeal." Writing in Booklist, Nancy Pearl and Henry J. Baron called the novel "a chilling reminder of human inhumanity."

The author brings back the detective character of Homme Veldstra from Gjin lintsje foar Homme Veldstra in his 1998 novel Smoarge grûn. This time the retired detective investigates the death of an old adversary that he respected and eventually became friends with before the man's untimely death in a sewage dump pond. Pointing out that the story is not really about solving the crime, World Literature Today contributor Baron noted, "The Homme stories never are. They are just as much about domestic small talk, the cost of living, changing times, and contemporary ontroversies." Baron went on to note that the novel "accomplishes its apparent purpose: to entertain the reader by intrigue and at the same time make the point that today's crimes make the transgressions of a past generation look like mere mischief."

Alde Maaie, which means "Old May," is a novel about Linse Pronk, a man who has dreams of taking over his town's bakery only to be sidetracked by World War II as he helps fight the German invasion of Holland. Pronk is eventually killed by one of his own countrymen after the Germans overrun the country, and his son Eabe sets out years later to learn the truth and eventually seek revenge. Baron, writing in World Literature Today, called the book "a first-rate story."

The author's last published work before his death, It guozzeroer, which means "The Goose Gun," focuses on the wartime exploits of Bavius Bouma, who keeps an old British muzzle loader in his room at a retirement home and eventually reveals the story of war and love that has led him to keep the relic by his side over the years. "The author's natural storytelling gift is amply demonstrated here," wrote Baron in World Literature Today. Baron went on to comment that "we have here simply a robust tale well told, with economy and suspense, with originality and authenticity."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, Nancy Pearl and Henry J. Baron, review of The Trap, p. 927.

Publishers Weekly, November 25, 1996, review of The Trap, p. 55.

World Literature Today, summer, 1992, Henry J. Baron, review of De nacht fan Belse Madam, p. 529; spring, 1994, Henry J. Baron, review of Gjin lintsje foar Homme Veldstra, p. 380; autumn, 1994, Henry J. Baron, review of Rjochtdei op de Skieding, pp. 831-832; spring, 1996, Henry J. Baron, review of In fin mear as in bears, pp. 419-420; autumn, 1999, Henry J. Baron, review of Hepke, p. 756; winter, 1999, Henry J. Baron, review of Smoarge grûn, p. 162; autumn, 2000, Henry J. Baron, review of Alde maaie, p. 864; summer-autumn, 2001, Henry J. Baron, review of It guozzeroer, p. 191.

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