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, among them The Black Lake
(Portobello Books, 2013), 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 Books, 2010) was the first work of hers translated into English for fifteen years. She died in 2011.
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