UCT's Prof Etienne van Heerden has released his latest Afrikaans novel, 30 Nagte in Amsterdam. The novel (literal translation, "30 Nights in Amsterdam") is the multi-award-winning Van Heerden's 24th Afrikaans book and 11th novel. It tells the story of Henk de Melker, lowly museum assistant and writer of wafer-thin biographies of obscure historical figures - like a proposed piece on Vincent van Gogh's lesser-known sibling, Cornelius - who learns that his late aunt Zan has left him a house in Amsterdam. He visits the house, and through his encounters with a rogue's gallery of pickpockets, prostitutes and street musicians over 30 days in the city's byways, he learns more about himself and of the scandalous Zan; actress, activist, sensualist and long-gone outcast from the Eastern Cape dorpie of his childhood. "As he confronts Zan's past, he also looks differently at his own," notes Van Heerden.
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