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Maria Dermoût

Maria Dermoût (1888-1962) was born on a sugar plantation on Java in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). Her first novel, the sensual coming-of-age drama Days Before Yesterday was published in 1951 and subsequently translated into several languages. The Ten Thousand Things came out in 1955 and found a readership in over ten languages. Dermoût’s modest but exceptional and enduring oeuvre continues to inspire. In her 2012 autobiographical bestseller Wild, Cheryl Strayed describes how Dermoût’s words kept her going on her rite-of-passage hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

In the fifties Maria Dermoût’s novels were well known. Her bestseller The Ten Thousand Things jostled Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago and Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the American bestseller lists.

Nog pas gisteren

Nog pas gisteren

(Querido, 1951, 85 pagina's)

Evoking bygone days, putting memories into words that bring a lost world within reach, Maria Dermoût is in full command of the art of storytelling. She made her debut with Days Before Yesterday, which tells the simple story of a Dutch girl growing up in Java.

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De tienduizend dingen

De tienduizend dingen

(Querido, 1955, 178 pagina's)

A consummate stylist, Maria Dermoût is renowned for leaving her readers with final sentences that resonate with hope and consolation. She invests her characters with strength and self-awareness, in the full knowledge that while life can be unjust it is still worth living, and she writes in prose so sensual and vivid that you can almost inhabit the world she describes.

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