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Ellen Ombre

Ellen Louise Ombre (b. Paramaribo, 8th December 1948) is a Dutch writer of Surinamese descent. She came to the Netherlands in 1961 and worked as a medical-scientific operative for a general medical practice in Amsterdam. In 1992 she published her first collection of stories entitled Maalstroom.

The most important motif in Ellen Ombre's stories – in Maalstroom (1992) , Vrouwvreemd (1994), Wie goed bedoelt (1996) and Valse verlangens (2000) – is relocation: which is what happens when someone from one culture finds themselves in another, fundamentally different culture. The stories are populated with figures who have shifted their boundaries – both literally and figuratively – or would like to do so. They are constantly explaining their new situation in the contrasting light of their former life. She develops this theme in her first novel, Negerjood in moederland (2004). The book is based on the extremely complex family relationships so typical of the Caribbean. The past of the main character, Hannah Dankerlui, a descendant of Negroes and Jews, meanders constantly through her mind and greatly influences much of what she does.

Vlaams Nederlands Huis de Buren Radio Netherlands The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature

This author's Radio Book:

Ellen Ombre
On my way

The main character in the Radiobook, Nimrod Groen, looks back on his childhood years spent in Surinam, where he was born the son of a Jewish father and a much younger Creole mother. His mother died giving birth to her second child and in the aftermath of the December killings and the unstable situation in Surinam his father decided to leave and return to Amsterdam. It was here that Nimrod spent the rest of his youth. When it appears that his father is incurably ill, images of the past inevitably loom up. Although he and his father have never been really close, after the death of his father Nimrod's life takes a new turn.

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