Ellen Ombre

False Desires

Once the Atlantic triangle – Holland, West Africa and the Caribbean – was a trade route carrying gold, slaves and arms. Nowadays it has become a false trail for many, a road leading to misunderstandings and unattainable desires. In this splendid collection of short stories, Ellen Ombre writes about Surinamers, Dutchmen and Africans in search of money, love and happiness.

‘Untrammelled love’ is the story of two young Gambian gigolos who hustle tourists on the beach. In ‘Far from home’ a lecher from the ‘better’ part of Amsterdam finds the virginal love of his dreams in exotic places. The longest story in this collection, ‘Entry in a dossier’ is a gripping account of a young Amsterdam drug addict who fathers the child of his social worker and is given the push.

Ellen Ombre depicts the current trade between Europe and her former raw-material suppliers with murderous accuracy. She contrasts the self-satisfaction of lip-smacking liberals and their longing for exotic delights with the sale of skin, hair and soul for a small bit of western prosperity. A moving and challenging book.

Amazing observations that paint a harrowing picture of the gap between Netherlanders and Surinamers.

NRC Handelsblad (on ‘Maalstroom’)

Sharp observations, sound judgement of human nature, restrained language and emotions so that the reader’s feelings are given every chance.

De Standaard (on ‘Vrouwvreemd’ - Mysogynism)

Ellen Ombre

Ellen Louise Ombre (b. 1948, Paramaribo, Surinam) came to the Netherlands with her parents in 1961. In 1992 Ombre made her literary debut with Maalstroom, a collection of short stories published by De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam. In 1994 followed by Vrouwvreemd. In 1996 she incorporated a series of…

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Valse verlangens (2000). Fiction.


De Arbeiderspers

Weteringschans 259
NL - 1017 XJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 760 72 10

[email protected]

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