Marja Brouwers (b. 1948) grew up in the southwest of Holland. ‘I don’t come from the kind of social background where people read books,’ she declared in an interview. At the age of sixteen she was already earning her own living as a switchboard operator and typist in a lawyers’ office. She then studied English and was a teacher for ten years. Her first novel, Havinck (1984), is the rather ironic story of a successful lawyer whose wife commits suicide and who then has to deal with his adolescent daughter. This successful novel was reprinted several times and made into a film by Frans Weisz in 1987. Brouwers’s next two novels, De Feniks: een familiekroniek (The Phoenix: A Family Chronicle, 1985) and De lichtjager (Light Chaser, 1990), were also about people who remain strangers to each other all their lives. In 2004 she published the novel Casino, a biting portrait of the hedonistic consumer society of the 1990s.