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Tonke Dragt

Tonke Dragt, born in Batavia in 1930, writes adventure books that explore the boundaries of space and time. As a child, Dragt found herself in a Japanese concentration camp. Inspired by Jules Verne, Dragt wrote her first ‘book’ while in captivity. In 1948, back in the Netherlands, Dragt became an art teacher. Several of her books are self-illustrated. She debuted in 1961 with the fairytale-style Verhalen van de tweelingbroers (Tales of the Twin Brothers). Dragt’s oeuvre could be described as literature with a philosophical slant for readers of all ages. Her collection of work is varied and, in addition to numerous fantasy and fairytale stories, also contains exciting adventures such as De Zevensprong (adapted into a successful TV series), mysterious novels about the future (Torenhoog en mijlen breed) and daring literary experiments such as Aan de andere kant van de deur.

In 1976 she was awarded the Dutch State Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature for her collected works. She is a unique voice in the world of Dutch literature.

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De brief voor de koning

De brief voor de koning

(Leopold, 1962, 454 pagina's)

Wie Tonke Dragt zegt, zegt ridders. Ridders en futuristische werelden. Slechts twee van haar lijvige jeugdromans, De zevensprong (1966) en De torens van februari (1973), spelen zich af in onze tijd, maar ook daarin lopen fantasie en werkelijkheid in elkaar over.

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Torenhoog en mijlen breed

Torenhoog en mijlen breed

(Leopold, 1969, 304 pagina's)

Science fiction from 1969 – does it still stand up? Anyone reading Miles High and Wide as the Sky would have to conclude that it does. True, Tonke Dragt didn’t foresee the invention of the smartphone, but her book remains convincingly futuristic. Dragt tells the story of Edu, a young planetary researcher on his second expedition to Venus, where a human colony lives under a dome of super-plexiglass.

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De torens van februari

De torens van februari

(Lemniscaat, 1973, 201 pagina's)

In 2004, Tonke Dragt won an award for the best children’s book of the previous five decades: De brief voor de koning (The Letter for the King, 1962). However, she received most fan mail for De torens van februari (The Towers of February, 1973), the incomparable sciencefiction story that according to Dragt herself is perhaps her ‘best’ book.

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