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Ellen Ombre was born in Suriname, and moved with her family to the Netherlands in her early teens. She held a career as a certified social worker, and is the mother of a son. Her first novel was published in 2004 by De Arbeiderspers under the title Negerjood In Moederland (Black Jew in the Motherland). She is a contributor to Het Betoog, an opinion and debate supplement of De Volkskrant, a Dutch national newspaper. She guest-hosted a television show on jazz in the Netherlands several years ago, and more recently, she was the official host in Suriname of the Dutch Minister of Cultural Affairs. This year, Ellen serves on the board of The Prince Claus Fund.