All of a sudden Tijmen, a young army captain, finds himself in a real war as part of the UN in Bosnia in the former Yugoslavia, the scene of the most recent war in Europe. With his colleagues, Lex and Eddy, he experiences a different aspect of life and finds out how war affects ordinary people, both soldiers and civilians.
Interspersed with Tijmen’s story about finding his own identity, we are shown vivid snippets of life in the war zone. For example, civil servant Galib Prolaz, a self proclaimed Yugoslavian citizen who, after the Muslims were driven away, had no alternative but to become a farmer. Or the beautiful Lucia Mezga who, behind the bar of ‘Holland House’, dreams that officers are queuing up to marry her.
Tijmen, ever the professional soldier, makes his war a success and brings all his men back. Twice he has to build a base from scratch, first in Tuzla and then in “Sapna Thumb”. But at least there on the first base, he is King of Tuzla.
Over time, he grows more and more disappointed with his colleagues, his society and even with himself. Does Tijmen come to terms with how he has changed?
King of Tuzla, ISBN: 978-1-907320-06-4, pages 210, £12.99 - €15.00 - $20.80
About the Author
Arnold Jansen op de Haar (born 1962) was the commanding officer of the unit that secured Tuzla airbase for incoming UN aid in 1994, one year before the overthrow of the enclave Srebrenica in the former Yugoslavia. He left the Grenadier Guards in 1995 to become a full time poet, columnist and novelist.
About the Translator
Paul Vincent is an award winning translator who has translated many well known Dutch authors including: Louis Couperus, Harry Mulisch, Willem Elsschot, Louis Paul Boon, Hendrik Marsman, Gerrit Achterberg and Hugo Claus. He also translated the poetry collection Yugoslav Requiem, a companion to King of Tuzla.
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