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Author photo. Hella Haasse 2008 - Photo uncredited

Hella Haasse 2008 - Photo uncredited

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Hélène Serafia "Hella" Haasse was born in Indonesia, the daughter of a government administrator and a pianist. In 1938, she enrolled in the University of Amsterdam to study Scandinavian language and literature. In 1940, she took the entrance exam at the Theatre School in Amsterdam, from which she graduated in 1943. The following year, she married Jan van Lelyveld. Her first book of poetry, Water, was published in 1945. She wrote 20 novels, a collection of short stories, five autobiographical works and several collections of essays, as well as numerous plays and song lyrics. She won her numerous awards, including the Prijs de Nederlandse Letteren in 2004 for her entire body of work.
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