The protagonist of A family in Brussels (Tránsito) has just buried her husband and is wandering around the house in a robe, walking through her musings. She’s alone. His daughters live abroad and, although he wishes they were around, he will never dare to blame them, except if it is around the corner of a most anodyne phrase, that art in which mothers tend to excel. Natalia Leibel, a Polish Jew and Belgian by adoption, was deported to Auschwitz as a child along with her parents, who never made it out of there. She was a woman of contagious laughter and selective silence, who became a spectral presence in the work of her daughter, director Chantal Akerman. This short and modest book, written in 1998, was an attempt to give it a literary voice.
A family in Brussels
Author: Chantal Akerman.
Translation: Regina López Muñoz.
Transit, 2021. 92 pages. 13.90 euros.