Monday, February 2, 2009

You should read it: Het Elfde Gebod by Peter Jaspers

“When I was 17 I first realized I liked women in a way that was different to that of most of my straight girlfriends. I was not sure what to do about it (besides hoping it would just go away), but as an avid reader and frequent library visitor, I did search my local library for everything and anything I could find on homosexuality.

This wasn’t too difficult, as all books had genre labels on the side, with a label with two faces kissing with the word “homo” written above it indicating gay content. The only difficulty that needed to be overcome was to find the courage to actually check out the books with these obvious labels.

I always made sure I added a lot of straight books too, just so it would not be noticed too much. It is only looking back on it now, that I realize most of the library ladies probably couldn’t care less which books I was checking out.

One of those books I sneaked out of the library while I was in high school was the 1960 novel “Het Elfde Gebod” (The Eleventh Commandment) by Peter Jaspers. This novel tells the story of what it was like to be queer in a small religious town in the Netherlands during the 1950s. It is all about being closeted, lack of acceptance and a lot of doom and gloom.”


Read the entire review here.

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