WITH A DUTCH ACCENT by David Cornel De Jong


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It is hard to put a finger on the reason this autobiography is disappointing. There are parts of it that are delightful -- recalling the warmth and charm of the Holland background of Old Haven and Day of the Trumpet. His first twelve years of life were spent in Friesland and Groningen, his memories are vivid -- but his tendency is to spin them too thin. When he was twelve, the family moved to America -- and at the end of five years he still was unmistakably foreign-- spoke with a heavy Dutch accent, was shy and ill-at-ease and unAmerican. There the record ends. Those had been years of poverty, of responsibility too great for young shoulders; strict Calvinistic fanaticism had scarred both school and home; the cruelty of youth towards divergence from the pattern had made school a nightmare. It is a bitter story, but somehow -- as a lad -- he never seems quite real.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1943
Publisher: Harper