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Turning Van Dis into a Graphic Novel

Saturday Night Unlimited -

Peter van Dongen has turned Familieziek (Family Disease), the autobiographical novel by Adriaan van Dis, into a graphic novel. It is a story told in scenes about an Indonesian family affected by the war, which tries to land on their feet in the Netherlands of the 1950s.

Van Dongen worked closely with Van Dis on the project. During Writers Unlimited, the graphic novelist looks back on this collaboration, including the exciting relationship between the words of the writer and the images of the artist and the story that binds it all together.

It's not surprising that the two authors understand one another. In 1998, Van Dongen - child of an Indonesian mother and Dutch-German father - caused a stir with Rampokan: Java, a historical and psychological graphic novel in clear-line style that takes place during the colonial war fought by the Netherlands in the former Dutch Indies. Part two, Rampokan: Celebes, was published in 2004.

The former Dutch Indies are also central to Familieziek. The 2002 novel is about a family from the colonies that builds a new life in the Netherlands.