November 2018, Wintertuinfestival, Nijmegen
Jasper Henderson interviews Alfred Birney, author of the bestselling novel ‘De tolk van Java‘ (The interpreter from Java). In this interview Birney gives his opinion about the Dutch government-sponsored research on violence 45-49. He is one of the signatories of the critical open letter that was sent to the Dutch government in November 2017.
In 2017 Birney received the prestigious Libris Literary Award for his novel. The book deals with the devastating impact of the colonial war (1945-1949) that the Dutch launched against the Indonesian Republic, including the role of his own father who was an Indo-Chinese interpreter working for the Dutch Marines in East-Java.
On September 3, 2020, the London-based publishing house ‘Head of Zeus‘ released the hardcover edition of ‘The Interpreter from Java’, translated by David Doherty: