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Dola de Jong (1911-2003) Biography

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born 1911 in Arnhem, the Netherlands; died November 19, 2003, in Laguna Woods, CA. Author. De Jong wrote for both adult and juvenile audiences and is best remembered for her young adult mysteries and adult novels set during World War II. She began her career as a journalist and, interestingly, was also a ballet dancer for the Royal Dutch Ballet before the war. With the rise of Nazi Germany, she was smart enough to know that, as a Jew, she should flee Europe. She emigrated to northern Africa in 1940, and then to the United States the next year. Unfortunately, she was unable to persuade her family to accompany her, and several of them died in the Holocaust. Speaking several languages, she became a linguist, as well as an author. From the 1940s through the early 1960s, De Jong penned twelve books, beginning with 1942's Nikkernik, Nakkernak and Nokkernok. Her adult novel And the Field Is the World (1945; reprinted in 1979 as The Field) won the Literature Prize of Holland in 1947, and she was also highly praised for her World War II novel The Tree and the Vine (1960). In addition, her mystery novels for teens were very successful and include the Edgar Allan Poe award nominee The House on Charlton Street (1962) and the Edgar-winning The Whirligig of Time (1964). Other important works by de Jong include the World War II novels for teens The Level Land (1943) and Return to the Level Land (1947). After editing An Anthology of Contemporary American Short Stories (1965), de Jong ended her publishing career, turning her mind to other concerns. Earning her degree from Empire State College at the age of seventy-two, she spent many of her remaining years teaching creative writing there.



Los Angeles Times, November 22, 2003, p. B25.

New York Times, November 26, 2003, p. A27.

Washington Post, November 24, 2003, p. B7.

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