WILL by Jeroen Olyslaegers, translation: David Colmer
(Pushkin Press, 2019, 334 pages.)
Wartime Antwerp is in the grip of Nazi occupation. Wilfried Wils, novice policeman and frustrated writer, has no intention of being a hero. He just wants to keep his head down; to pretend the fear and violence around him aren’t happening. Wavering uneasily between two worlds, Wilfried tries to survive as the pursuit of the Jews continues relentlessly. Years later he tells his story to his great-grandson. Olyslaegers disputes the widely accepted boundaries between good and evil and makes the book resonate ingeniously with the twenty-first century.