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Dutch-born author Dola de Jong succumbs at age 92
Moved to the U.S. in 1941
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
LAGUNA WOODS, California - Dola de Jong, a Dutch-American novelist who wrote books for juvenile readers and earned an Edgar Allen Poe award for her adult mystery ‘The Whirligig of Time,’ recently has passed away at age 92.
Dorothea Rosalie de Jong wrote for the Nieuwe Arn-hemse Courant and for De Telegraaf. She performed eight years with the Royal Dutch Ballet.
Fearing a Nazi invasion and unable to persuade her family to join her, De Jong in 1940 fled to North Africa, where she married artist Jan Hoowij whom she later divorced. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1941. De Jong’s father, stepmother and one brother were murdered by the Nazis. De Jong became an American citizen in 1947.
De Jong earned the City of Amsterdam Litera-ture Prize in 1947 for her novel ‘And the Field Is the World,’ which she had translated into Dutch as En de akker is de wereld. The book tells the tragic tale of a group of European refugee children seeking safety in Morocco during the war.
Two of her children’s books, ‘The Level Land’ in 1943 and ‘Return to the Level Land’ in 1947 concern a Dutch family caught up in the Nazi invasion of their country, and of their postwar shelter of a Jewish Holocaust survivor.
A linguist, De Jong read manuscripts for publishers in English, French, German, Dutch, Flemish and Afrikaans. At the age of 72, she graduated from Empire State College in New York City and then taught creative writing there for several years.