Schrijvershotel Daan Heerma van Voss

Daan Heerma van Voss

Daan Heerma van Voss (b.1986) is an historian and
writer. He was awarded De Tegel for his journalistic
work. His literary work has been nominated for
various prizes, and translated into Swedish, Spanish,
German and Chinese. In 2020, his Corona Chronicles
was published. His new book The Anxiety Project
was published in the spring of 2021.

Schrijvershotel Daan Heerma van Voss

A Confession Left in the Margin

Fine, we’ll start over. The first version of this piece has been rejected — a forced literary reflection on the kindred spirits of the writer and the hotel (something about being in transit and unknown doors), with a Cees Nooteboom sauce over it, and dusted with Arnon Grunbergian sprinkles about not having a heimat. And voilà.

Things turned out differently. I had books with me, a notebook, a laptop, but I was no writer. I was a twelve-year-old boy, with acne, on the verge of the big growth spurt. A young boy who had done something terrible.

I’d been working here for one afternoon. Thanks to Lucas, a holiday friend. Lucas, his little brother Louis, and I were playing football, scuffing along the canal-side and kicking snail-shells. Their father, Wouter, was always sitting on the quayside. Beside him, books. Philosophy books, Buddhist books, books about stones. Wouter was ‘the boss’ of an Amsterdam hotel. And I was allowed to help out for the day, if I liked.

Lucas led me round; he sometimes admitted that maybe sometime, when he was grown up, he’d take over the hotel. I wanted to do everything well, didn’t want to disappoint Lucas, nor Wouter, the creaking stairs, or the CoBrA paintings. I’d been let in to a tradition of butlers and bell-hops, of supervisors and honourable carers. It didn’t go terribly well. The windows that I washed with a thick yellow cloth didn’t turn translucent. The breakfast tables that I’d laid never seemed entirely symmetrical, however often I shifted the butter knives. Well, anyway, that’s when something really went awry.

An American man — a travelling salesman? A spy? — asked me if I could carry his trolley suitcase. I placed the case beside his bed. One click. I opened my sweaty fist and I saw a scrap of plastic — a clasp, a lock? When he wasn’t looking, I laid it back in the right spot, hoping that he didn’t see me. He gave me two-fifty as a tip, but I declined the honour.

Oh, what honour? Something had been placed in my care for safekeeping, something important, and now it was broken. I was furious, hurt. I have no idea what I said to Lucas, to Wouter, no idea what I gave as a reason why I wouldn’t be staying on beyond that afternoon.

He’s still pottering around here, Lucas. His hands folded proudly behind his back. He’s the boss, as his father once was. And I sit on the terrace on the canal-side, thinking of that man who’d once sat on the quay — him with his books, me with my notebook.

What is a writers’ hotel? A place to arrive, to think about people you no longer speak to, to experience how we’re all passers-by. A place you can call your own for a little while, until you hand back the key to someone who smiles at you, forgivingly.

PS: To the relevant American spy agency that reads this: tell your colleague that I’m sorry about his case.

View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’.

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

Annejet van der Zijl

Annejet van der Zijl (b.1962) is one of the bestknown
and widely read non-fiction writers in the
Netherlands. She debuted in 1998 with Jagtlust,
and has written bestsellers such as Sonny Boy and
The American Princess. Van der Zijl was the Book
Week author in 2020 and wrote the successful
Book Week Gift Leon & Juliette.

The Magical Kingdom

This was the time that the world had been locked, and the city had come to a halt. But the hotel would only really close when there wasn’t a single guest left. And there was.

He was a frequent visitor — a man with an aristocratic name and a life that could rightly be called rich: a glistening diplomatic career, a stable marriage, a close circle of friends, and children who brought honour to the family name. A full life too. Obliged to be aristocratic, and likewise successful. And that’s the way your time passes.

He checked in for four nights, when the trees along the canal were still bare. Just at that moment, the world flipped on its axis and the borders were closed. He told the receptionist that he would be staying longer. The crisis went on, the other guests disappeared, the hotel staff continually shrank.

The receptionists now cycled in their masks through the city like food couriers, the manager took the night shift, and out of boredom, he made ghosts out of lamps and hotel sheets.

When the trees along the canal shed their leaves once again, and the city readied itself for the darkest and quietest winter in human memory, he was still there. Time hadn’t stretched out this endlessly since he was left to his own devices as a boy on his grandparents’ estate, in the school holidays. And there was so little he needed to do. The word ‘solitude’ had such an enchanting ring to it. Life was so magical and full of promise.

He now drifted through the seventeenth-century canal-side houses that together formed the hotel. He studied the impressive art collection on the walls. He browsed through the thousands of books signed by their authors, which were the pride of the hotel, and which had been a reason to choose this hotel. Because he loved to read, even though he rarely had time for it in his daily life. But now, he had all the time in the world. And he read. He lived the lives of others, he disappeared into unfamiliar worlds. He took pleasure.

Spring came. Once again, boats sailed along the canal, and from the improvised terrace in front of the hotel, there was the sound of cheerful chattering. The borders had once again opened, and he increasingly frequently heard sounds from the rooms around him. And finally, he packed his cases too, and returned to his so successful, full, rich life, to the discussions at Westminster, the family dinners in Chelsea, the garden parties on the Thames. People patted him on the shoulder and said how jolly good it was to see him again. He smiled agreeably, yes, it is simply wonderful.

But now and then, his gaze would drift away. And he’d dream of his lost kingdom — the empty hotel, the silent city, the books, and himself.

View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’.

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

 

Thomas Heerma van Voss

Thomas Heerma van Voss (b.1990) is the writer
of the widely acclaimed novels The Everything Table
and Stern. His short story collection The Third
Person was nominated for the Biesheuvel Prize; his
essay collection Surrogates was nominated for the
Jan Hanlo Essay Prize. He also writes for publications
such as De Groene Amsterdammer magazine.

Shaken Awake

Below the bridge that runs from the Prins Hendrikkade across the Singel canal, there is a sentence by Belle van Zuylen, painted on a brick wall: Returning isn’t the same as staying. These six words always draw my attention as I walk from Central Station into the city, on my way home through that urine-reeking tunnel, where a couple of homeless people have been living since the Corona outbreak — and each time I think that Belle van Zuylen was right.

Maybe that’s what I found personally the most difficult thing about the Corona waves; the lack of variety, or any relief in the days, so that even the sensation of returning disappeared. Never again did I take in what I already knew with a fresh perspective; each day passed more or less the same. Now and then, I checked my diary, and it wasn’t a day that had passed, but a month.

For some writers, this is an ideal situation: rest, a regular routine, and above all, few distractions. I personally fare best when my perspective is shaken up every now and then, and if I have a reason to leave my writing room. When the time came for my temporary stay at the Ambassade Hotel, I immediately felt that Amsterdam had finally been given new hues and colours. A different starting point ensured that I saw different places, I heard new sounds, extra bustle around me. I browsed through the hotel’s illustrious library, abandoned myself to each dish that the hotel chef cooked, slept at night in a bed that was so big I kept losing my love. How I’d missed being in a semi-public space like this: the mixing of the other guests and one’s own privacy, the compactness and luxury of your own room, which you didn’t have to decorate yourself, the discretion of the staff who never arrived unannounced, but were always there at the ready.

With the Ambassade Hotel as my new mooring, I wandered through the city; the sun was shining, the café terraces were being set up for the first time in months. On the far side of the canal, they were shooting the excellent American TV series, Atlanta; I walked up to the set, lied to security that I lived a little further along, passed Donald Glover and the other lead actors, just half a metre away — another experience that I hadn’t had in ages: pleasant, being a little nervously surprised by what you come across,that delightful tingling in your belly, not knowing
precisely where and what to look at.

Once I was back in my hotel room, I felt as if I’d been shaken awake, as if I’d finally returned from somewhere. And I experienced something I hadn’t in ages: I felt like being alone again for a little while, to search in seclusion for the right words, because that was finally a choice again, not something that was forced upon me by circumstance.

View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’.

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

 

Schrijvers Hotel Jessica Durlacher

Jessica Durlacher

Jessica Durlacher (b.1961) has written novels that
include The Hero (filmed and awarded the Opzij
Literature Prize), Conscience (awarded the Debutant’s
Prize and the Golden Dog-Ear), The Daughter
(nominated for the NS Public Prize) and Emoticon.
Her new novel, The Voice, was published in 2021.

Schrijvers Hotel Jessica Durlacher

Writing in the Time of Corona

I recently happened to be a guest as a writer in Amsterdam, at the Ambassade Hotel, in one of the finest locations, facing the former Institute of Dutch Studies, where I once started my degree. I
was amazed at how polished and gleaming the city can be, and how naturally it can conceal itself in the disguise that it probably displays to strangers.

Amsterdam is the city that I think I know best of all the cities I’ve lived in. I was born there, and spent the first thirty years of my life there. I studied and worked there, and it’s where I experienced all kinds of firsts. When I think of the city, or when I’m there, I always feel homesick — not for any places, but for moments, or periods. Amsterdam is a tin-full of madeleine cookies, a map of significant moments, a time machine. At the time, I could no longer see the city because I was a part of it.

But even now that I live elsewhere, the city feels like my own territory, homesickness territory, although I did still often go there before Corona. Time breaks apart memories, but it sometimes sticks them together too. Until a few weeks ago, the year and a half behind us seemed as though it were composed of all the same time, the same week, the same hour. I could remember every hour, every thought, I was present everywhere.

We were all furtive, introverted people without much life outside the house, we hated our masks with a similar passion, each day we briefly and dejectedly lowered our expectations; there was little stimulation, pleasures were close to home, there wasn’t much for us to strive for because the chance that others were having a much better time was reassuringly and depressingly small.

This was all one time, and it was called Corona. There was little to cheer us. Never had a long year felt so monotonous, the passing of time so visibly unaffected by what we found important. We watched the hours, the days, the weeks and the months pass
like never before.

Meanwhile, it now seems that we can pass into a new age; the gate is open, they’ve once again taken our possessions out of the safe for us. Awkwardly, we stick our noses into the fresh air, the open shops, the cafés and the museums. The light still stings our eyes a bit, our social muscles are a little wasted, and we react to most things that happen to us with a mild shock. Are we the same as we were before?

The Corona year may have crumpled our memories into a wad; the gaping gap between the time before the pandemic and now has grown exponentially. My wardrobe looks like a stranger’s. Who was the ‘I’ that wore such awkwardly high heels?

Amsterdam (and we) have acquired a whole new history, but I do wonder whether this time it will arouse any homesickness. Maybe just for the Ambassade Hotel.

View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’.

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

Esther Verhoef

Esther Verhoef (b.1968) is one of the most successful
and versatile writers in the Netherlands. She has
sold some 2.4 million copies of her psychological
thrillers and novels. Verhoef’s work has been published
in numerous countries and has been nominated for
and won prizes on numerous occasions, including
the NS Public Prize, the Hebban Award and the
Golden Noose.

The Shutters Are Closed

‘All of us have increasingly turned inwards,’ my writing friend says. She gestures as if she’s closing shutters in front of her face. ‘Everyone on their own little island. Furtive, frightened of the drifting bacteria on the breath of others.’

I sit opposite her with a big glass of Chardonnay. My second. The stricter the rules get, the higher my drinks tab. My friend is in a high-risk group, but now she’s had her second jab, and I’m just recovering from two weeks of last-minute Corona. So, it’s all allowed again now. We even hugged — faces turned away, because you never know.

‘I’ve transformed into a hermit that dreads human contact,’ she continues. ‘Someone who has to re-learn how to welcome guests. Didn’t that go quickly?’

I nod and take a sip. And another. I’ve always escaped into my writing, every day since I was eight; disappeared behind words and sentences, absorbed in a world that you create yourself, and that you can understand and control.

‘There are some people who I haven’t seen for a year and a half,’ I say. ‘You know, friends who you go out to a film with for the discussion afterwards, or you like to go shopping with, or go out to lunch with at some hip place.’

And at a certain moment, you don’t dare to invite anyone anymore, I think, because one of them will clasp you to their chest as you come in, snorting: ‘You don’t believe in all that nonsense, do you?!’ And another will promptly give you the cold shoulder just because you want to have two guests, while Jaap and Mark from the government advise only one.

I didn’t even message my firm, casual friends. What are you supposed to ask? Is everyone healthy, are you all managing there? I miss them, and then again I don’t. I’m no longer used to people, I think. My house’s shutters are closed, and so are my heart’s a little.

This must be an ideal time for writers, I keep reading everywhere. Because they were already sitting at home the whole time, typing. Nothing’s
changed for them. But for me, everything’s changed. I write in seclusion. Four or five days without social contact is normal. So now and then I need to get out to make sure I don’t end up babbling under a stone. Hopsy, off to a café, a restaurant, the shops, a festival, places where you can tap off a few drops of social structure as an antidote. And hear a story or two,
input for your work.

But everything is fully booked up, or regulated to death, and people have gone stark-raving mad, screaming at the tops of their voices at each other on either side of a ravine, where you could once have found the safe, middle ground.

Rapprochement — I hope that we can learn that again. Houses and hearts open, understanding, nuance and trust. A new, firm foundation in that middle ground, that’s what I wish for the reader, the writer, each and every person.

And until then, there’s always Chardonnay.


View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after a visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’.

 

Schrijvershotel

Alma Mathijsen

Alma Mathijsen (b.1984) studied Image and Language
at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Creative Writing
in New York. She has published plays, a short story
collection and various novels. Mathijsen writes essays
for the NRC Handelsblad newspaper. In 2020, she
published her most recent novel, Save the Summer.

Schrijvershotel

Into the Outside World

I’d almost forgotten that it still existed. I belong to that group of people who locked themselves away. If you live alone, that is pretty easy. You have no housemates to ask you lovingly, but also intently, whether it might not be a good idea to get out a little more.

No, I stayed inside, I bought a Nintendo and baked lasagnes exclusively for myself. Between the walls of my own apartment, I didn’t have to be frightened about infecting anyone, I didn’t have to ask a friend for the twelfth time whether they’d washed their hands for twenty seconds, I didn’t have to be irritated to distraction by a husband with his nose hanging over his face mask. It was calm at home, and that was all I needed. At least, that’s what I thought. I was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel for two nights, and naturally I could also bring someone with me. For the first time, there was somewhere I could invite my new love to.

The café terraces had just opened and the sun put in an appearance too. I saw people everywhere taking bites of their food, or eagerly drinking from their glasses. When they weren’t doing that, they were talking excitedly. The manager was standing ready at the entrance, and he welcomed me so warmly that I thought for a moment he must have confused me with an oil baron, or an influencer with 500,000 followers. In the room, there was a bottle of Cava waiting for us on a laid table that looked out over the canal. I drank from the glass, as eagerly as the people I’d seen earlier that day. I wanted to join in with them.

Thomas Heerma van Voss was also sitting on the terrace; he’d been invited to the hotel too. I’d barely seen any other writers for a year and a half, and I was seized with an enthusiasm that I couldn’t shake. I wanted to talk — it didn’t matter about what. A little later, Jessica Durlacher and Solomonica de Winter drifted over the terrace, returning from a massage; they were also staying in the hotel. And I wanted to chat with them too. I grabbed what was there to be grabbed. All of those months in solitary meant I was hungrier than ever for small talk. The sillier the better — I didn’t need any deep discussions.

It seemed almost like a literary festival, but with an élan that I’d dreamed about all of my life. No pallets in a mud pool as a so-called backstage. Here, we had marble floors, chilled bottles of bubbly and downy bathrobes with slippers. I couldn’t have wished for a better re-entry into life after sitting inside for months. I didn’t realise it, but it was everything I’d needed.

View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after a visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’.

Het schrijvershotel

Arnon Grunberg

Arnon Grunberg (b.1971) is a widely discussed
writer, essayist and columnist, with numerous
publications in diverse newspapers and weekly
magazines. His novels are often nominated for and
awarded prizes, and have been translated into thirty
languages. Prizes for his oeuvre include the Constantijn
Huygens Prize and the Golden Goose Quill.

Het schrijvershotel

Life and Theatre

‘In a love affair, most seek an eternal homeland. Others, but very few, eternal voyaging.’ (In einer Liebe suchen die meisten ewige Heimat. Andere, sehr wenige, aber das ewige Reisen.)

Actually, I wanted to include this quote by the German philosopher Walter Benjamin, who committed suicide on 26 September 1940 in Portbou, as the inscription of my new novel, but it even better suits a series of stories about the Ambassade Hotel in Amsterdam and thus, indirectly, all hotels, and the hotel existence itself.

How are we meant to understand an eternal homeland in the context of the love of one person? Could all nationalism be a sanctuary for people who sought in vain for their eternal homeland in one person, and when that ended in disappointment, turned to the country they happened to have been born in? Setting aside the question of exactly what love is eternal.

Presumably, it’s good to separate passion, which is eagerly consumed in hotel rooms, from love, which seeks its refuge sooner in living rooms and bedrooms, vestibules and storage spaces. It’s a human peculiarity, and a tragic one, to confuse passion with love, just like we wish to believe that freedom and equality are the same thing, or that one at least leads to the other.

It isn’t only in love, but in writing, in life, that I’ve found eternal voyaging. Where ‘eternal’ doesn’t need to mean anything more than life-long.

If love is bound up with a need to find a home, whatever that word may mean, and with the desire to travel, which by necessity means that one has to leave the metaphorical homeland, then it is inevitable that the hotel is a symbiosis of travel and home, heimat and exile. And thus, a compromise, but also a catalyst. This desire wishes to cross borders, and it is precisely the borderless character of the hotel that encourages us to do so.

Borderless, because the hotel is a halfway house. Room 93, Room 18 — we call them our rooms, but in a few days, someone else will be living there.

It’s theatre, just like the restaurant is theatre; everything is a ritual, certainly in a hotel, but the ritual has a high degree of reality. It transports us towards life, towards
the sensation of mortality and the transitory, which is presumably a precondition for being able to desire an eternal heimat in the first place.

The painter Charlotte Salomon, who was murdered in Auschwitz on 10 October 1943, posed the question: ‘Leben? Oder Theater?’ The hotel as institution, as reception centre, as hospital, as sanctuary, as guilty place and safe house, as a church and, lastly, as an illusion (the rooms of the other guests contain the lives that we might have lived). And the answer: Leben und Theater.

Het schrijvershotel

View the column on the website of ‘Het Parool’.

What is a writers’ hotel without writers? A pen without ink? For a period of six months in 2021, one author a week was invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel and describe their writing lives at that time. Throughout the period May to November 2021, the newspaper Het Parool published the Writers’ Hotel columns in its weekly Arts Section.

Read more about this column project in collaboration with ‘Het Parool’ .

Would you like to stay at the writers’ hotel as well? Enjoy a unique experience in the Ambassade Hotel with these special offer packages or come and admire the library after a visiting our sunny terrace on the Herengracht!

 

Our Librarian Eelco Douma

The Writers’ Hotel – A word from the librarian

Our Librarian Eelco Douma

The Ambassade Hotel is renowned as the place to stay in Amsterdam for writers. All the big Dutch publishers book rooms here for their authors – much to the gratitude of the hotel, which has been able to assemble an amazing book collection thanks to all its literary guests. The library currently holds an astonishing 5000 signed books offering a cross section of the entire range of contemporary literature.

The books are housed in the Library Bar and Library Lounge, which were completed in 2015. The person with responsibility for the library is Eelco Douma, who has been working at the Ambassade Hotel for 25 years. He’s proud of the collection and well aware that it wouldn’t have been possible without the publishers.

‘It’s extraordinary how the collection has developed. Publishers traditionally had their offices on Herengracht, and they book rooms with us for their authors. The hotel always receives a signed copy of their latest work. Because the writers keep coming back, from some of them we have their entire oeuvre. Take novelists like Arnon Grunberg and György Konrád for instance, or non-fiction authors like Ian Buruma and Philipp Blom. We have work by authors from 76 countries, and our Belgian neighbours in particular are close to our hearts. Tom Lanoye and Dimitri Verhulst are regular guests, for example. Verhulst actually devoted two pages to us in his book to mark the 2015 Dutch literature week!’


The guestbooks

In the Library Bar there are also 20 guestbooks with valuable contributions and reflections by famous guests. ‘They include internationally renowned writers, among them virtually every winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature over the past 30 years, as well as politicians, philosophers, and even a balloon pilot. There are various notes in the guestbooks by authors like Isabel Allende, Salman Rushdie, David Sedaris, Connie Palmen, Eckhart Tolle, Mario Vargas Llosa, Umberto Eco, and Jonathan Safran Foer.’

‘The writer and former chief editor of the magazine Vrij Nederland, Rinus Ferdinandusse, used to come to the hotel sometimes to interview a guest, and one day he said, ‘Do you know who’s sitting over there in the corner of the lobby?’ It turned out to be John le Carré, whom we hadn’t recognised because he’d reserved under his real name, David Cornwell. From then on, Le Carré stayed here regularly. I still have a handwritten letter from him thanking me for the Christmas gift we send him every year and saying he has such ‘fond memories’ of the Ambassade Hotel. I’ll always cherish that letter.’

‘Just before my time, though from the stories it sounds very impressive, there was a visit from the famous writer Alberto Moravia, éminence grise of Italian literature. It was as if the Pope was visiting, he was given so much attention and respect. Things are different these days; the top Italian author today, Paolo Giordano, is very relaxed and greets me like an old friend when he stays with us.’

‘Something that made a big impression on me a year ago was a visit by Nadya Tolokonnikova of the punk band Pussy Riot, who was here because of her book ‘How to Start a Revolution’. Usually I wouldn’t take such a liberty, but when I saw her sitting in the library I went up to her and said that I think she’s extremely courageous and she should keep up her fight.’

 

The writers’ hotel:
For a period of six months, a different author is invited to stay at the Ambassade Hotel for two nights every week. The author will write a column about their experience of being a writer in this era. The columns will be published weekly
in the Dutch newspaper ‘Het Parool’.