Ammers-Küller, Johanna van (1884–1966)

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Ammers-Küller, Johanna van (1884–1966)

Dutch novelist and playwright who enjoyed her great success in the 1920s and 1930s. Born Johanna Küller on August 13, 1884, in Delft, Holland, the Netherlands; died in 1966 in Amsterdam, Holland; married in 1904; children: two sons.

Selected works:

The House of Joy (1929); Tantalus (1930); No Surrender (1931); Masquerade (1932); The House of Tavelinck (1938). Her novel The Rebel Generation (1925) was translated into ten languages.

Johanna van Ammers-Küller, who would become known as the foremost interpreter of Dutch middle-class life after World War I, was born into a family of prominent lawyers and doctors. Known as Jo, she was an only child born and raised in the town of Delft where the Küllers had long resided. At an early age, she was attracted to the stage, writing and performing stories and plays for her family and friends, sometimes drawing others into the act. When she was 14, she saw her first publication.

At 20, Ammers-Küller married and moved to London. For the next eight years, as she raised two sons, she did not submit work for publication. In 1912, she reemerged with a play, and within the next nine years she wrote two more dramas and a novel. She also returned to Amsterdam. It was not until 1925, with her depiction of Holland's youth in The Rebel Generation, that she received international attention. Fame afforded her the opportunity to travel throughout Europe as well as the United States where she met President Franklin Roosevelt. With the advent of World War II, Ammers-Küller faded from international view. In Holland, she remained a foremost fiction writer and recorder of Dutch life, and an activist with Holland's P.E.N. She died in 1966 at the age of 82.

Crista Martin , Boston, Massachusetts

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