Transworld has pre-empted a memoir by Jewish Dutch resistance fighter and Ravensbruck survivor Selma van der Perre.
UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired from Marijke Nagtegaal at Thomas Rap (De Bezige Bij). My Name is Selma will be translated by Alice Tetley-Paul and Anna Asbury and is scheduled for publication by Bantam Press in September 2020.
My Name is Selma has been a number one bestseller in the Netherlands. It was pre-empted in the US by Scribner, BTB Verlag in Germany and Mondadori in Italy, Deals have already been done with Matar in Israel, Wielka Litera in Poland and Tammi in Finland. More foreign rights sales are anticipated.
Selma van der Perre is a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor. She was 17 when the Second World War began and was summoned to register at Westerbork labour camp in 1942, a holding camp for deportations to Auschwitz, she instead went into hiding. She joined the resistance movement under the pseudonym Margareta van der Kuit, Marga for short. Selma escaped the Nazis on multiple occasions but in 1944 she was arrested and transported to Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp as a political prisoner.
Van der Perre said: “I was one of many Jewish people to fight the Nazi regime and my story illustrates what happened to thousands of Jews and non-Jews alike. I have recorded the small details that made up our lives, the sheer luck that saved some of us and the atrocities that lead to the deaths of so many. This book is written as a testament to our fight against the inhumanity. The horrors of the Second World War and the bravery of the people who defied them must never be forgotten. I hope this book will contribute to their lasting memory.”
Transworld editorial director Andrea Henry said: “My Name is Selma is a devastating and yet hopeful memoir. It brings to life Selma’s experience of Nazi occupation.” Henry added: “Selma is a force of nature—someone who has, despite it all, remained kind, open and positive and who has lived a full and fulfilling life. She’s still travelling and keen to share her story.”
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