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Bart van Es talks to Philippe Sands

The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found

Hay Festival 2019 , 

A conversation about the extraordinary biography that won the 2018 Costa Award. Little Lien wasn’t taken from her Jewish parents – she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es, the grandson of Lien’s foster parents, knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences, so crucial in defining us, can also be redefined. Philippe Sands’ East West Street won the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction.