Ted Polet books


Ted Polet


About 93,000 words. Dutch version expected June 2023. Planned release of English version: summer 2023.

I recently visited the tropical country of Suriname to do research, and generally enjoy the trip. To my surprise and delight, I was interviewed in the capital Paramaribo, by journalist Audry Wajwakana of the local Dutch language newspaper De Ware Tijd.

(preliminary cover design)

ANANSI is an historical novel set against the 17th Century slave trade and the plantations in Suriname. It is the story of two people, who against all odds and the harsh reality of the slave trade, hold on to one another, hoping for a better life in freedom. The tale begins in fort Elmina, the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company in what used to be the Gold Coast (Ghana today). It then moves across the Atlantic, ending up in the colony of Suriname shortly after the Dutch take-over in the late 17th Century. The main protagonists are Efua, a young African woman enslaved by a Spanish slave trader based in Elmina, and a rebellious Dutch sailor, who feel irresistibly attracted to one another.

The forbidden liaison comes to light and the girl is sold and put aboard a slave ship to Suriname. The young man manages to talk himself on board another ship to go and search for her on the other side of the Atlantic, a search full of hardship in the South American jungle.

The central theme of the story is the tales of Anansi, which in West Africa are related by mothers and grandmothers to their daughters. These stories have crossed the Atlantic with the slave trade, ending up in Suriname, but also in Jamaica and possibly elsewhere. Anansi is a smart spider, who plays all kinds of devious tricks. Efua tells the stories she learned from her grandmother and takes them with her on the slave ship to Suriname.


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