Archive for the ‘Bookpeople’ Category


Bookpeople: Tante Hes

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Back in Ye Olde Paper Newslettre, we featured an interview with one of the ABC staff members in every issue.   We plan on continuing the tradition here.  It’s been a long time in the making, but here, finally, is the first interview, appropiately with the lady who posed the questions back then.

HesterTante Hes is well-known to any ABC customer who used to frequent the basement in the old store in Amsterdam. She is a good-humored and very enthusiastic bookseller. If you’re ever stuck for what fiction or poetry to read next, all you have to do is ask! She’ll be sure to come up with three or four promising recommendations in the space of thirty seconds. You can find her on the second floor in our Amsterdam store, and occasionally in Den Haag, too.

Hester in a nutshell

Most treasured possession: Paul, my hubby (if you can call him a possession)

Favorite saying: “Or something”

Favorite food: Risotto with celeriac

Rich or famous? Rich

Favorite movie: Anything with flying dresses!

Flying dresses?

Hong Kong martial arts movies. When I see one I get totally into the main character: right then, I want to carry a spear, jump really high and beat all the bad guys, like in Saviour of the Soul. When I was 5 or 6, I really believed that, if only I could run fast enough, and flapped with my arms hard enough, I could fly. I remember running down the street, thinking “this has to be possible!”

Okay, another list. Which books would you take to a desert island with you?

* Torenhoog en mijlen breed + De zevensprong by Tonke Dragt, famous in Holland for her kid’s books.

* Het zinrijk + Uit de hoge boom geschreven by Chris van Geel because I love the way he evokes the dunes.

* Homeland by Barbara Kingsolver because she delves so deeply into people.

* The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck, for the same reason: the way he shows us people in all their humanity.

* A dummy to write and sketch in.

* all DVDs (and a DVD-player) from The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan as an ultra-cool ex-FBI agent, to see exactly what lengths someone goes to to escape from a prison-like paradise.

I also neeeeeed some music. So I have to take at least Wire’s Chairs Missing and 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields. And In Black by Metrophase.

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