Anna Enquist - The Homecoming
In The Homecoming Anna Enquist tells the story of the marriage of James Cook, the great eighteenth-century explorer who charted a large part of the globe. Elizabeth Batts, James’ wife, is waiting for him to return from his second voyage, which has lasted several years. Three of their five children have died in his absence, the accidental death of their small daughter being an especially heavy blow, because Elisabeth feels she is to blame.
Cook may be a hero to the world, but he is a failure as a husband and father. He has not seen any of his children grow up, and the burden of their deaths has fallen entirely on Elizabeth. Cook is present for the birth of his sixth child, but by the time of its death and that of his two remaining sons, he has sailed away, never to return.
The Homecoming is a splendidly written portrait in which Enquist effortlessly bridges the distance between us and the historical characters. She has created a huge readership for her novels and poetry since her debut in 1991. Enquist takes a strong stance on existential issues, refusing to accept the disappearance of the lyrical soul as part of a natural process.
Anna Enquist made her debut as a poet with Soldiers’ Songs (1991), which was awarded the C. Buddingh’ Prize for best debut. For her second collection, Hunting Scenes (1992), she received the Lucy B. and C.W. van der Hoogt prize. In 1994 Enquist published her first novel, The Masterpiece. Her second novel, The Secret, was also a huge bestseller and received the Trouw readers prize.
- ‘Her best, most comprehensive and most touching novel.’ – NRC Handelsblad
- ‘A surprising and touching novel about the loss of children, about the destruction of a union between a man and a woman, and, above all, about the inadequacy of facts when it comes to understanding people.’ – Haarlems Dagblad