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Pastiche of the roots novel

To Blackbird Creek

Stefan Hertmans

In ‘To Blackbird Creek’, Stefan Hertmans narrates the coming of age of a boy in a Flemish village in the 1950s and 60s, in a grotesque, but just as often moving way. His budding sexuality and lively imagination so take possession of him that the world appears dark, terrifying and full of secrets.

‘To Blackbird Creek’ is a penetrating portrait of a generation growing up with fantasies about the Cold War and inaccessible continents. Between the familiar world and absolute desolation - the landscape of adulthood - there is a chasm that can only be bridged by the imagination.

A magical novel about a time when there was no separation between reality and childish imagination – a time when the world was still full of surprises and wonder
Aschattenburges Kultesmagazin

“Anyone who knits their story together with lies, perhaps tells more truth about themselves”, as Hertmans put it in an interview about his novel. In ‘To Blackbird Creek’, he pokes fun at the impulse that resides in every writer, and which he himself is similarly unable to escape: his desire to write his own ‘A la recherche du temps perdu’. ‘To Blackbird Creek’ is an ironic confession, but also an infectious pastiche of one of the most striking themes in Flemish literature: one’s own roots.

A triumph of imagination over autobiography
De Morgen
Hertmans looks at the world through a microscope
Leipziger Zeitung