Faded Portraits


A fictionalized memoir of family life in former colonial Dutch East Indies, Faded Portraits is the story of the once powerful DePaulys, and especially of Aunt Sophie, the matriarch, whose efforts to preserve the family heritage- the "purity" of the Dutch bloodline and culture- prove inevitably tragic. The forms to which aunt Sophie clings, and which she seeks to impose on her family, represent an arrogant blindness to the personal needs of others and to the cruelties of the colonial system, and underscore the struggles of displaced people who must accept the eclipse of their way of life. The book is reminiscent of the literature of the American South- of the novels of William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, John Crowne Ransom, Robert Penn Warren. That too was "colonial" literature, wistfully determined to record an era that was passing.

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