The White Heron, a novel of Dutch Colonial New Guinea,
was published in Amsterdam in October 2017.
"A Dutch Graham Greene"
The harvest is past
“What makes the book exceptional is the masterly description (...) Everything isabsolutely believable: landscapes, flora and fauna, the people and their manners,the food and clothing, the settlements and the merciless climate (...) formidableauthenticity (...) Heartbreaking!” Rob van Dam
“A book that reads like a thriller. Van der Kolk casts his African novel in such supplesentences and presents the rough details with so much dry humor, that youeffortlessly
remain engrossed until the chaotic ending (...) The power of this novel is in Van der Kolk’s detached wanderer’s eye, which he also casts so beautifully over theboundless African landscape.”
✮✮ ✮✮ Janet Luis
“A devastating story. Who still has illusions about development aid will be cured forever after reading this novel.” Danielle Serdijn
“An excellent novel (...) Geert van der Kolk is a purebred storyteller.” Ko van Geemert (Paramaribo, Suriname) ✮✮ ✮✮
My novel De oogst is voorbij (The harvest is past) came out in January 2016. The book is the result of a long-cherished wish to go to Africa, and an almost equally old fascination with the paradoxes of development aid. I wandered through Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda for six months, furiously making notes for a book of travel stories, but it turned into something completely different. It became the story of the Dutch agricultural engineer Andries Jordaan. From the moment he arrives in Africa, nothing turns out as he had anticipated. The development project he’s taking over is in shambles, the local tribes are indifferent or suspicious, and the authorities obstruct him whenever they can.
Jordaan gets unexpected help from Pippa Roberts, an English doctor who wants to open a clinic. Together they believe they can accomplish something positive, but underestimate how endlessly complicated, unyielding and violent African reality is. Their own motives turn out to be at least as complicated.
De oogst is voorbij is, I hope, an engrossing, colorful and disconcerting novel. At its core is a love affair that seems too beautiful to be possible.