Fiction / Judaica / Holocaust / Gay Interest


Secretly Inside
A Novel
Hans Warren
Translated by S. J. Leinbach
Introduction by Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

Library of World Fiction/Terrace Books

A powerful novel by one of Holland's best-known writers

In the Dutch countryside the war seems far away. For most people, at least. But not for Ed, a Jew in Nazi-occupied Holland trying to find some safe sanctuary. Compelled to go into hiding in the rural province of Zeeland, he is taken in by a seemingly benevolent family of farmers. But, as Ed comes to realize, the Van 't Westeindes are not what they seem. Camiel, the son of the house, is still in mourning for his best friend, a German soldier who committed suicide the year before. And Camiel's fiery, unstable sister Mariete begins to nurse a growing unrequited passion for their young guest, just as Ed realizes his own attraction to Camiel. As time goes by, Ed is drawn into the domestic intrigues around him, and the farmhouse that had begun as his refuge slowly becomes his prison.

"The back door yielded to his touch, and he called out, "Is anybody there?" And once again, but nobody heard him; the radio inside drowned out everything.

Hesitantly, he tripped over a threshold, stumbling his way over the wooden clogs and sacks that lay strewn across the entryway. The smell of the place was bitter, as if a lot of animals lived there. He was startled by a cat, which soundlessly slipped past him on its way outside.

Again he called out but once more with no result.
Then he closed the door after him and switched on his flashlight . . ."
–excerpt from Secretly Inside

  • This is the first English edition of Steen der Hulp, originally published in Dutch by Prometheus Bert Bakker, 1975.
  • The forthcoming film version of Secretly Inside is being produced by Laika Films and directed by noted Belgian filmmaker Bavo Defurne.

Hans Warren was a prominent Dutch writer best known for his published diaries, which he kept from 1939 until he died in 2001. In addition to these revered memoirs of modern life, he was a poet, translator of Greek literature, and a novelist. S. J. Leinbach is a scholar and translator living in the Hague, Netherlands. His previous translations include Oek de Jong's novel Hoekwerda's Child.

National Endowment for the Arts logoThis book is published with support from the National Endowment for the Arts

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Of Related Interest

The German Officer's Boy
Harlan Greene
Available now
ISBN 0-299-20810-9 Cloth
Terrace Books

Cover of Warren's novel is illustrated with an evocative photo of a slight young man in a big cap, a long shot of a Dutch farmstead and the siloutte of a man and a woman. Tones are brown and grey.

LC: 2005021511 PT
106 pp. 5 x 8 1/2
ISBN 978-0-299-20980-3
Cloth $16.95 t

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Updated February 6, 2009

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