Fate and Asparagus

As a young boy grows up, his grandfather’s wartime stories become darker and more complex. What really happened on 10 September 1914, when German troops overran the Belgian village of Haacht, and how can we ever make sense of the past?

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About Gilbert Van Hoeydonck

I was born in Belgium and have lived in Melbourne (Australia) since 1978. I have worked in education, child protection policy and public mental health. I now work as an independent writer and as a part-time volunteer, teaching English to recently arrived migrants and refugees.

My short stories draw on events from my youth in Belgium. I wanted to revisit and restore energy to family tragedies that had become shallow from frequent re-telling. I am interested in how stories can be revitalised or constricted by memory and language.

I am currently preparing my first novel for publication. 'The Best of Intentions' is set in multicultural Melbourne and explores how vulnerable young people with mental health problems or in foster care can fall 'through the net' in spite of the efforts of those charged with their care.

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