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Mary Dorna (1891–1971)

Author of Een heer om port mee te drinken ...

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Mary Dorna was the pseudonym of Mary Jeanette Tenkink-Stoppelman, born into a middle-class, secular Jewish family in Amsterdam. At age 15, she attended the School of Applied Arts in Groenburgwal. A year later she became a pupil of the painter Jan Bleys. At age 19, she married Felix Gabriel Bowers, an English aristocrat, with whom she lived in South America; but the marriage was unhappy and they divorced in 1913. She worked for a while as an artist's model in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she met her second husband Bruno Wille. They moved to the Netherlands and he encouraged her to begin writing after World War I. In 1926, she published her first works in a German newspaper, Het Volk, as Mary Wille. She wrote more than 100 short stories for various Dutch newspapers. In 1933, she published her first collection of stories, Disorder Around a Difficult Child, under the name of Mary Dorna. That same year, she went to live with Henry Tenkink, who became her third husband in 1939. Other works included Antisocial Preferences (1938), Finger Exercise (1940), and My Uncle Ricardo (1941). She survived World War II by pretending to be Maria Juana de Videla Dorna from Argentina. Some 30 years after her last collection appeared, her work was reprinted as The World of Mary Dorna (1970) and also was read on an audiobook, Disorder (2008).
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