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Astrid H. Roemer

In 1966, at the age of 19, Astrid Roemer emigrated from Suriname to the Netherlands. She identifies herself as a cosmopolitan writer. Exploring themes of race, gender, family, and identity, her poetic, unconventional prose stands in the tradition of authors such as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Her debut novel, Take Me Back, Suriname, has been enduringly popular in Suriname for its depiction of the uprooted life of a Surinamese migrant to the Netherlands. Her greatest commercial success has been On a Woman’s Madness. Roemer was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize in 2016, and the three-yearly Dutch Literature Prize (Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren) in 2021.

Over de gekte van een vrouw

Over de gekte van een vrouw

(Prometheus, 1982, 221 pagina's)

‘I am Noenka, which means Not Again. Born of two opposites, a woman and a man who pull even my dreams wide open. I am a woman, even if I don’t know where that begins and where being a woman ends, and in other people’s eyes I am black, and I keep wondering what that means.’

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Lijken op liefde

(De Arbeiderspers, 1997, 251 pagina's)

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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