Margriet de Moor was born in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in 1941. She comes from a Catholic family with many children and grew up with nine siblings, six of them girls. The theme of sisterhood was to become a common theme in her work. She studied Piano and Song at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and was especially interested in the music of avant-garde composers such as Schönberg, Satie and Debussy. She began to appear regularly on stage as a solo singer from 1968 onwards. Ten years later she resumed her studies again, this time in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam. Following her marriage to the sculptor Heppe de Moor she founded an art salon in 's-Graveland, near Amsterdam, in 1984. She made films and video portraits of the artists involved in the salon. One year later she began to write prose, which from the outset displayed a complex structure and atmospheric density. In 1988 de Moor's first volume of short stories appeared, »Op de rug gezien« (t: Back views), which was awarded the Gouden Ezelsoor for best selling first work. She achieved international recognition with her first novel, »Eerst grijs dan wit dan blauw« (1991; Eng. »First Grey, then White, then Blue«, 1994), which has been translated into eleven languages to date. The murder of a young woman, who disappeared years ago, is reconstructed from the perspectives of three different people. Her musical preferences have always been modern, as is also true of de Moor's literary tastes, which include avant-garde stylists such as Beckett, Borges and Ionesco. »My creative thought is wrought from musical forms, yet I will never try to translate a specific musical form directly into literature.« In her work she is often preoccupied – against the backdrop of historical events and epochs – with the fateful powers which rail against human strivings to control life. Thus music and love are recurring themes. »De Virtuoos« (1993; Eng. »The Virtuoso«, 1996) concerns a woman's love for a castrato in 18th Century Naples.
»Hertog van Egypte« (1996; Eng. »The Duke of Egypt«, 2001), similarly, describes the love story of an unusual couple, in this case between a gypsy and a female farmer, who get married in the sixties. In her novel, »De verdronkene« (2005; t: The drowned), recently translated into German, de Moor tells the story of the flooding of the southwest province of Zeeland in 1953.
The destiny of two sisters with similar looks is played out, as they switch roles on the day of the catastrophe itself. Thus one sister dies at the place where the other sister was meant to be. De Moor has been awarded many prizes, including the Lucy B. en C.W. van der Hoogtprijs and the Ako Literature Prize. She lives in Amsterdam. © internationales literaturfestival berlin Geboren als Margaretha Maria Antonette Neefjes, moeder van beeldend kunstenaar Lara de Moor (1969) en schrijfster Marente de Moor (1972)