Astrid H. Roemer

Astrid H. Roemer was born in Paramaribo, Surinam, in 1947. She emigrated to the Netherlands in 1966, where she made her debut as a poet in 1970. She now has a considerable oeuvre to her name, including poetry Noordzeeblues (North Sea Blues, 1985), a play Dichter bij mij schreeuw ik, (Closer to Me I Shout, 1991), a novella Levenslang gedicht (Lifelong Poem, 1987) and several novels. Her two latest novels, Gewaagd leven (Daring Life, 1995) and Lijken op liefde (Looks Like Love, 1997), were greeted with universal enthusiasm by the Dutch press.

Looks Like Love

(De Arbeiderspers, 1997, 251 pages)

In Dutch the word ‘lijken’ has two meanings, as a result this book’s title can be read in two ways: it can mean ‘approaching or looking like love’ but it could also mean ‘love buried under dead bodies’. In this novel, set in Surinam in December 1999, we follow the life of Cora Sewa, a housekeeper whose opinion is seldom or never asked but whose discretion is often required. Someone who has eyes and ears but is expected to keep quiet about what she has witnessed.

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