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Hella S. Haasse was born in 1918 in Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She moved to the Netherlands after secondary school. She started publishing in 1945 and many of her books have gained classic status in the Netherlands. Haasse has received several prestigious literary awards, among them the Dutch Literature Prize in 2004, and her work has been translated into many languages. The Tea Lords (Portobello 2010) was the first work of hers translated into English for 15 years. She died in 2011. www.hellahaassemuseum.nl
Unostentatious charm... an instant classic -" Independent" A book that truly breathes... It can break, haunt and stir you... Haasse has a fine, exact way with her story... Mesmerisingly lovely and then suddenly shocking; you have to react. After 60 or more years, and in a quite different world, it is still a wake-up call... Perfect - S"cotsman" Distinguished, composed with intense concentration, with a cruel heart-breaking climax and a brave, passionate coda... [It] demands several readings... Immaculately constructed -"Times Literary Supplement" An understated little gem of a book and this fresh and vibrant translation is an event worthy of a wholehearted welcome -" New Internationalist" A translation as fresh as any Booker nominee... beautifully judged and a genuinely intriguing insight into the end of a European empire - "Big Issue""