SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Gerard van Veen appeared here this week on the popular TV program “Speaking of Everything,” talking about his autobiographical book Schoolboy in Wartime – Memories of My Early Years.
The St. Martin author also told veteran TV host/producer Oral Gibbes that sponsors of the World War II book will receive their gift copy of Schoolboy in Wartime at the book party on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at 7:30 PM.
“I’m inviting sponsors who contributed to the book’s publishing, friends, family, the cultural arts and book loving public to join me for an entertaining book party at the Parish Hall,” said Van Veen on Thursday. The Parish Hall is located on Backstreet, across the street from the “Cultural Center.”
At the book party Gerard van Veen will read passages and take questions from guests about the book’s description of family lore; discovering his parents’ resistance guns in the house; his “mission” to the mysterious Mr. Westerman on the “outskirts of town;” preparing vestments for a Nazi “soldier priest” in his Dutch neighborhood; the disappearance of a Jewish citizen who frequented the shop of his grandparents; and his father returning from “police action” in “the Netherlands East Indies.”
During a writing workshop last June, Van Veen explained how Schoolboy in Wartime is also “helpful to adults, including St. Martin senior citizens, wishing to write their own books about dramatic or traumatic experiences — such as hurricanes Donna or Irma; war; major accidents such the plane crash off the Maho coast or the Christena ferry boat disaster; migration; and immigration,” said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.
The author’s childhood war accounts, mainly in the city of Alkmaar, in the German-occupied Netherlands, are enhanced with photos of Alkmaar men forced to board trucks for work camps in Germany, women in search of food during the “Hunger Winter,” and of the author’s family and school life, said Sample.
“Gerard van Veen gives contemporary readers a glimpse of a world long gone and which today provides the content for films and historical novels,” said John Robert Lee, St. Lucian author and Fulbright/Laspau scholar.
Gerard van Veen, a former Catholic priest, is the author of nine books, including Soualiga Catholica and Colorful Religion. Schoolboy in Wartime is available at Van Dorp, Arnia’s bookstore, and SPDbooks.org goo.gl/X8yCC4.
CUTLINE: Author (2nd L) with Second Form classmates, St. Dominic College, Nijmegen, 1947, from Schoolboy in Wartime.