NEW Norfolk author Theresia Van Den Berg is determined to publish her first novel — and she isn’t letting cancer get in her way.
Mrs Van Den Berg, who turns 90 in November, released a revised edition of her autobiography, Tesha: A Colourful Life, late last year, and is working on her first novel, titled The Search.
“I’m faced with cancer at the moment, I have a large tumour in my chest and I don’t know how long I have to go, but I would like to have this book published,” Mrs Van Den Berg said.
“I think it refers to today’s problems that we have with accepting other people with different points of view on religion and politics and our homosexual community.”
She only has one chapter to write before The Search is completed, and hopes to have to it published by her 90th birthday.
“The Search is about a young woman who is trying to come to terms with her homosexuality ... and all her anxiety and psychological troubles she has to face and physical problems,” Mrs Van Den Berg said.
“It’s a very interesting story, it touches on quite a few things here and there — a bit of politics, religion.”
Mrs Van Den Berg was born in Amsterdam and has lived at New Norfolk for about 15 years.
In between, she has lived a remarkable life, which is fleshed out in her autobiography.
“Tesha really refers to my life from when I was a child, and having gone through the traumas of World War II, and my move after the war to Indonesia where there was still fighting for independence,” she said.
“I was advised to write it by several of my friends because it will be, I think, an encouragement for other people.
“I want people to know that no matter what you go through in your life, that there’s always something happening that will be worthwhile to keep going and not to give up.
“There have been times in my life that I thought I couldn’t manage, but I got through it, and by getting through it, a whole lot of other things opened up.”
Mrs Van Den Berg said writing had helped her deal with another difficult time in her life.
“My imagination is good, and it has helped me, and especially now being confronted with cancer. I find that getting myself involved in imaginary travel helps, it puts me into a different environment for a little while, even though I’m still sitting in my chair,” she said.
Tesha: A Colourful Life is available from online retailers such as Amazon.
THE WRITE STUFF: Theresia Van Den Berg at her home with a copy of her book Tesha.