30.03.2016 - Harry Parker

After former soldier got wounded in Afghanistan, he took up writing to help him make peace with addressing what had happened to him. What started as a therapeutic activity developed into a promising – and from the start a much-discussed – debut: Anatomy of a Soldier (Anatomie van een soldaat in Dutch).

On Wednesday 30 March Harry Parker is coming to BorderKitchen to talk about this war novel.
Parker’s own experiences form the basis of his novel. Central character Tom Barnes loses his legs after he steps on a bomb, just like Parker did. Subsequently he needs to learn to deal with his transformation from troop leader to amputee. But there are more reasons why this is a remarkable book: Parker follows characters from both sides of an unnamed conflict and the story is told from the point of view of various inanimate objects (a bike, a bag of fertiliser). The effect is both disorienting and captivating. The chapters could run nonsequentially. Parker: “I wanted it to be like you could chuck them into the air and read them in any order, because that’s what it’s like to be blown up. I liked the idea of creating a puzzle with each chapter. I wanted the reader to ask, ‘Where am I?’”
Writer and journalist Rosan Hollak will interview Harry Parker this evening (in English).
Anatomy of a Soldier will be published in its Dutch translation (Anatomie van een soldaat) in March 2016 by publishing house Hollands Diep. The book is translated by Paul van der Lecq.