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Annie Salomons (1885–1980)

Author of Michael Powell: International Perspectives on an English Film-maker

Includes the names: Ada Gerlo

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Short biography
Anna Maria Francisca van Wageningen-Salomons, the Dutch writer known as Annie Salomons, was born in Rotterdam to a Roman Catholic family. Her parents were Constant Theodor Salomons, a plant manager, and Trinette Marie Catherine Kortman. She and her sister were raised in a large home in the grounds of the gasworks her ​​father directed. She began writing stories at an early age. In 1901, at age 16, she made her literary debut with some poetry published in Jong Holland. Johan de Meester, arts editor of the New Rotterdam Courant, published her poem "The Madonna" in his paper and introduced her to the publisher Van Dishoeckstraat, which published her first collection of poems, Verzen, I, in 1905. She graduated that year from the Gymnasium Erasmianum (high school) with honors. She went on to study Dutch literature, first at the University of Leiden and then at the University of Utrecht. Her realistic first novel, Een meisje-studentje (A Girl Student, 1907) mirrored her disappointment over the treatment of girls at male-dominated universities. The book unleashed a storm of reactions from both the literary world and academia and became a bestseller. Her next collection of poetry, Verzen, II, appeared in 1910. Under the pseudonym Ada Gerlo, she published several more novels, some of them semi-autobiographical. She wrote popular weekly columns for De Nieuwe Groene and De Amsterdammer newspapers, and was noted for her clear prose, often tinged with humor. In 1924, at age 39, she married Henri (Han) Wageningen, a lawyer six years her junior. For the next three years, they lived in Medan on Sumatra, in the Dutch East Indies, for his work. On their return to the Netherlands, they settled The Hague. Between 1954 and 1960, she published the two-volume Herinneringen uit den ouden tijd: aan schrijvers die ik persoonlijk heb gekend (Memories of the Old Time: Writers I've Known Personally), which had great success. In 1957, a selection of her stories was published as Heilige stenen (Sacred Stones). She received the Order of Orange-Nassau and numerous other awards, including the Jacobson Prize from the Tollens Foundation for her lifetime of work. She was made an honorary member of the PEN Club.
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