Just a week ago I happened to pass by a secondhandbookshop in a southern part of Amsterdam. It is a shop at a corner and at both sides, on the outside, the shopowner had placed boxes with books. One book for one euro. So this was an opportunity for me. I still had some time to spare for my next meeting.
The first book that took my fancy was by the Belgium author Jef Geeraerts. He has written many books, often with a link to Congo / Zaïre. He was a civil servant in this former Belgian colony. Some of his books I have on my shelves and at least one ( 😦 ) I have read. This one is called ‘Diamant’ and is all about finding diamonds in Zaïre and the trade in diamonds. The thriller starts in 1982 in the province of West Kasasi. The writer took a year for research in the world of diamonds in Antwerp and New York.
The second book had a familiar ring to it. I knew I had a book by the South African Sol T. Plaatje. But there on the pavement I could not remember the title of the book. I did not know if he had written more than one book. But: one book one euro. So I decided to buy ‘Mhudi’ (in Dutch translation). When I came home I discovered Sol T. Plaatje, quietly sitting on a shelf. In English, published in ‘African Writers Series’, number 201. Enclosed in the Dutch translation is a very nice picture of the writer. This picture travelled to my English edition.
And the Dutch translation?
Someone else will hopefully enjoy it.