The following information on Lisa Boersen’s García Márquez en de Honeymoonquiz: Hoe verhalen ons vormen (Atlas Contact, November 2022) as well as translations of the publisher’s introduction and the book review excerpts, from Dutch to English, are by Peter Jordens.
In García Márquez and the Honeymoonquiz: How Stories Shape Us, Lisa Boersen searches for answers. She is the daughter of a Dutch father and a Dominican mother. She grew up in her father’s country, but her worldview is also shaped by the stories that her mother used to tell her. Those stories are about colorful characters who conquer your heart and stay with you, as they stayed with Boersen and are her guide in life. Now that she has children of her own, she is faced with the question of which stories to pass on to them. What do the stories say about resilience and resistance, about class and religion, or what it means to be ‘home’? With wit and humor, Boersen connects old family stories to personal anecdotes. The result is a rich collection of essays that shows what it is like to grow up multiculturally and that, above all, makes us realize how much we are shaped by our stories.
A book review by Ko van Geemert appeared on p. 9 of the December 3, 2022 print edition of Ñapa, the weekend supplement of the Curaçaoan newspaper Amigoe. Here are excerpts:
Lisa Boersen (1975) grew up in The Netherlands. She studied Anthropology and Literary Studies and has written a number of children’s books. The stories that her Dominican mother used to tell her immersed her in the culture, history, norms, values and life wisdom of the Dominican Republic. […]
At the end of her book, Boersen explains its intriguing title: “[…] when the winners of the Honeymoonquiz (a popular family game show in The Netherlands, presented by Ron Brandsteder) won a trip to the Dominican Republic, all The Netherlands witnessed an island with white beaches, palm trees and a clear-blue sea. The Dominican Republic surfaced as a land of cocktails with little umbrellas. Suddenly, my mother’s origins were considered to be a paradise and in school, my own status rose a few notches.”
At some point in time, Boersen discovered the work of Latin American writer García Márquez: “This was a world that I knew: this was the world of my mother’s stories. Love in the Time of Cholera takes place in a fictional town in South America around 1900. It felt very familiar to me. […] When Captain Diego Samaritano prepares breakfast consisting of fried eggs with plátanos (fried plantains), I cried. I had never thought that I would find my favorite food in a book.”
Lisa Boersen’s lovingly written book is a poignant illustration of the difficulties of living between two cultures and the value of storytelling.
García Márquez en de Honeymoonquiz: Hoe verhalen ons vormen
Amsterdam: Atlas Contact, November 2022
Genre: Literary non-fiction
ISBN 978-9045045696 (hc)
For the original information (in Dutch), see https://www.atlascontact.nl/boek/garcia-marquez-en-de-honeymoonquiz