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An orphan’s search for identity in
times of war and injustice

Birgit Treipl, born in 1965, is a Dutch-Canadian author who spent her formative years in the Netherlands. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht. After completing her education, she gained experience in the fields of advertising and corporate communications. Subsequently, she transitioned into freelancing and then went on to establish and successfully manage her own recruitment agency specializing in marketing and communications professionals. This entrepreneurial journey eventually led her to make the move to Canada.

Published in Dutch

Her debut novel Schuilen tussen bamboe (“Hiding behind bamboo”) was written in Dutch, and published by HarperCollins Holland in August 2020.

In 2022, Birgit took on the challenge of translating her novel into English. Collaborating with Canadian editor Margo LaPierre, they embarked on an extensive stylistic edit, although the English title is yet to be determined.

The genesis of this book symbolizes an exceptional journey that Birgit embarked on alongside her father, Victor. Over six months, they conducted interviews via Skype, forming the bedrock of her creative process.

Historical fiction

Although “Hiding behind Bamboo” draws inspiration from a true story, it artfully weaves together elements of fiction and non-fiction.

The novel offers a poignant window into the extraordinary life of a young Victor. He was of Austrian descent, growing up in the Dutch East Indies. Orphaned at the tender age of eight, just on the brink of World War II, he finds himself labelled a ‘hostile subject’ due to political upheavals. Victor loses his family’s wealth, including their luxury hotel, and is interned in an isolated mountain village with his aunt. When he turns eighteen, a family secret surfaces, fundamentally shaking Victor’s world. He embarks on a transformative journey, discovering profound lessons in acceptance, forgiveness, and love that will leave an indelible mark on his life.

In November 2021, Victor Treipl passed away in his 91st year of life.

Birgit Treipl is available for interviews.