Maria Dermoût, née Ingermann, was born on a sugar plantation in Java in the colonial Dutch East Indies -- now Indonesia -- and sent to the Netherlands at age 11 for her education. In 1907, she married Isaac Dermoût, a civil servant in the judiciary, with whom she had children, and returned with him to the Indies. They spent the next 30 years living in (as she later wrote) "every town and wilderness of the islands of Java, Celebes, and the Moluccas" for her husband's postings. Maria Dermoût did not focus on her writing until after her husband's retirement, when the couple returned to the Netherlands and settled in The Hague. At age 63, she made her publishing debut with the story-memoir Days Before Yesterday (1951). Her celebrated novel The Ten Thousand Things was published in 1955 and became a bestseller. Maria Dermoût produced a total of seven volumes, two of which appeared posthumously. A number of her short stories were translated and published in magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.