Audrey Hepburn and World War II
by Robert Matzen
Foreword by Luca Dotti
ARCs & digital galleys: October 2018
U.S. publication date: April 15, 2019
Hardcover with dust jacket
416 pages; 24 pages of color and B&W photos
A portion of each sale benefits the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.
Kindle and ePub
Blackstone Audiobook read by Tavia Gilbert
Italian publication date (Piemme): June 4, 2019
Dutch publication date (Overamstel): September 12, 2019
Polish publication date (Albatros): TBD
Hungarian publication date (Európa): TBD
Already in its third printing!
"[Dutch Girl] offers a wonderfully complete and revealing character sketch of an individual who continues to fascinate millions around the world. Hepburn was, of course, gracious, talented, and elegant. But Matzen makes clear that she also was extraordinarily courageous."
"Drawing upon meticulous research, Mr. Matzen delivers a vivid, moving and persuasive account of a harrowing time that the actress seldom discussed in detail and which has been glossed over or sensationalized by frustrated biographers."
Featured on TIME.com on May 3, 2019.
Goodreads April 2019 selection of the month in History & Biography.
BBC America's #1 "thing to do" the week of April 15: Read Dutch Girl!
Recommended spring reading by Fortune magazine.
Called a "Must-Read of 2019" by WW2 Reads.
"Visceral details—of intense privation, bombings, and also acts of resistance—evoke the period. Matzen has created a vivid portrait of a civilian population under siege—one of whom just happened to become a Hollywood star."
"A meticulously detailed and researched look at the formative years of an iconic performer; for fans of Hepburn as well as anyone seeking a social history of the Dutch experience of World War II."
"This is a story of danger, suspense and determination to succeed against terrible odds, told in Technicolor."
Rex Reed, American Film Critic & Columnist for The New York Observer
"A master storyteller, Matzen has given us a great story—intimate, intense, and unforgettable—that carries us not only into the heart of the battle but into the heart of a great human being."
Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Charade. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has attempted to cover her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands, where she spent the entirety of World War II.
According to her son, Luca Dotti, "The war made my mother who she was." Audrey Hepburn's war included the brutal execution of her uncle and cousin on August 15, 1942, participation in the Dutch Resistance, work as a doctor's aide during the "Bridge too Far" battles for Arnhem and Oosterbeek, and the ordeal of the Hunger Winter of 1944-45. She also had to contend with the fact that her father sided with the Nazis and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first two years of the occupation.
The war years also brought triumphs as Audrey became Arnhem's most celebrated young ballerina. New interviews with people who knew her in the war plus wartime diaries and research in classified Dutch archives shed light on the riveting, untold story of Audrey Hepburn in World War II.
View the Official Dutch Girl Book Trailer