Elisabeth Holdsworth: Those Who Come After

A first novel on ‘those who come after’

Sue Ebury

 

Those Who Come after
by Elisabeth Holdsworth
Picador, $29.95 hb, 343 pp, 9781405040501

Wirklich, ich lebe in finsteren Zeiten.
(Truly, I live in dark times.)

When her mother uttered that line from Bertolt Brecht’s great poem ‘An die Nachgeborenen’, Juliana – the narrator of Elisabeth Holdsworth’s first novel – knew they were in for a hard time. Janna had returned to the Netherlands from Dachau carrying a cardboard suitcase that the Americans had given her. In it was packed the rage that exploded whenever life overwhelmed her. Janna was not only Juliana’s beautiful mother; she was also her deeply damaged antagonist.

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Published in April 2011 no. 330

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