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November Book Club

Our adult book buyer Lori Feathers facilitates a lively discussion about a fiction or non-fiction title each month. Meetings are held virtually via Zoom. Share your opinions about the book and glean a deeper or different understanding of it from other readers. October's selection is WAR AND TURPENTINE by Stefan Hertmans. For access to the meeting link, email Lori@interabangbooks.com. She will include you in the password email she circulates the date of the meeting. All are welcome, including first-timers.

Longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize

New York Times Top 10 Best Book of the Year

An Economist Best Book of the Year

Longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award

The story of Urbain Martien lies con­tained in two notebooks he left behind when he died. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather’s story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory.

But who is he, really? There is Urbain the child of a lowly church painter; Urbain the young man, who narrowly escapes death in an iron foundry; Urbain the soldier; and Urbain the man, married to his true love’s sister, haunted by the war and his interrupted dreams of life as an artist. Wrestling with this tale, the grandson straddles past and present, searching for a way to understand his own part in both. As artfully rendered as a Renais­sance fresco, War and Turpentine paints an ex­traordinary portrait of  a man, re­vealing how a single life can echo through the ages.


STEFAN HERTMANS is an internationally acclaimed Flemish author. For more than twenty years he was a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent, where he wrote novels, poems, essays, and plays. War and Turpentine was awarded the prestigious AKO Literature Prize in 2014.

Translated from the Dutch by David McKay.

Wednesday, November 4th, 6:00PM
Event address: 
War and Turpentine: A Novel Cover Image
By Stefan Hertmans, David McKay (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781101872116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 25th, 2017