A Hatred for Tulips

Richard Lourie, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $22.95 (182p) ISBN 978-0-312-34933-2

According to Lourie's fictional account, the informant who turned Anne Frank and her family in to the Nazis was a mere adolescent, motivated more by a desire to feed his dying father, who was subsisting on tulip bulbs, than by an obsessive hatred for Jews or by an unalloyed greed. When the brother he hasn't seen for 60 years visits from America, self-pitying Joop confesses his terrible boyhood secret, which he claims prevented him from marrying, cultivating friendships or leading a normal life, and relives the war years. Events include Joop's brief play at sabotage (discovered by a Dutch Nazi uncle and reported to Joop's father, who savagely beats him); Joop surviving diphtheria (he's blamed when a similarly infected sibling dies); and Joop's parents' unhappy marriage and casual anti-Semitism, which cast shadows over his ordinary activities. Lourie's rendering of Anne Frank's fictional betrayer as a callous, misguided youth is stark and deftly written. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/21/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 225 pages - 978-1-4104-0268-4
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4668-2300-6
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