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Anansi International

Fire and Air

Written by Erik Vlaminck • Translated by Paul Vincent

Published February 28, 2015 | ISBN 9781770894013

Cover of Fire and Air

Regular price $19.95 CAD

304 pages | 8 in × 5.25 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Fire and Air

Erik Vlaminck • Paul Vincent

Reader's Guide ↓

Told from the points of view of a mother and daughter, Fire and Air tells the story of a Belgian and Dutch family who flee to Canada to escape the Second World War, only to have the past catch up to them.

Ten-year-old Elly Verkest is a first-generation immigrant to Canada. Her father, Gaston, is one of the many Belgians who moved to the country after the Second World War, and her mother, Mina, is from Zundert, a small town in the Netherlands. When Gaston goes on one of his trips to his hometown of Flanders, he doesn’t come back. As each struggles with the sudden disappearance of Gaston, mother and daughter grow farther apart. When she is a young adult, Elly decides to search for her father in Belgium. There, she discovers that Gaston has a secret life.

When Elly returns to Canada, she finds out she is pregnant by a man she met in Atwerp. Several years later, Elly’s daughter, Linda, develops a close relationship with her grandmother. Slowly, she discovers all of the family secrets…

About the Creators

Erik Vlaminck

Erik Vlaminck is an author and playwright. He gained prominence as a novelist with a six-part cycle of novels about the unusual life of ordinary people in Flanders in the twentieth century. In 2011, Fire Air was nominated for the prestigious Libris and AKO Literature Award. He lives in Belgium.

Paul Vincent

Paul Vincent taught Dutch at London University from 1967 to 1989 and since then has translated a wide variety of Dutch-language authors, including Louis Couperus, Willem Elsschot and Harry Mulisch. He lives in London, U.K.