The sorrow of Belgium
A classic novel in the tradition of The Tin Drum, The Sorrow of Belgium is a searing, scathingly funny portrait of a wartime Belgium and one boy's coming of age -- emotionally, sexually, and politically. In 1939, Louis Seynaeve, a ten-year-old Flemish student, is chiefly occupled with schoolboy adventures and lurid adolescent fantasies. Then the Nazis invade Belgium, and he grows up fast. Bewildered by his family -- a stuffy father who actually welcomes the occupation and a flirtatious mother who works for (and plays with) the Germans -- he is seemingly at the center of so much he can't understand. Gradually, as he confronts the horrors of the war and its aftermath, the eccentric and often petty behavior of his colorful relatives and neighbors, and his own inner turmoil, he achieves a degree of maturity -- at the cost of deep disillusion. Epic in scope, by turns hilarious and elegiac, The Sorrow of Belgium is the masterwork by one of the world's greatest contemporary authors. Book jacket.
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Apostles asked Aunt Berenice Aunt Mona Aunt Nora Aunt Violet Baekelandt Bastegem Bekka Belgian Belgium better brother Bruges Byttebier called cheek Constance cried Dirty Dick Dondeyne door eyes face father fingers Flamingant Flanders Flemish French front German Gerolphe Gestapo girl Goossens Grandpa Guido Gezelle Haegedoorn hair hand head heard Hitler Hitler Youth Holst Jay-Dee kitchen knees laugh Leevaert legs look Louis Louis's Madame Laura Mama Mama's Meerke Meneer Mijnheer Mizzlers mother mouth never night nose Odiel Oudenaarde Papa Papa's Picardy pulled Puydt Rock Roeselare Seynaeve Sister Adam Sister Econome Sister St sitting smell Staf Staf de Clercq stood talk tell there's thing thought turned Uncle Armand Uncle Florent Uncle Omer Uncle Robert Vlieghe Vlieghe's voice walked Walle West Flanders West Flemish window woman