Dutch author Annejet van der Zijl is one of the most acclaimed, popular, and widest read authors of literary nonfiction in The Netherlands.
After studying at Amsterdam and London universities, Annejet was a crime and arts journalist at the outset of her career before turning her attention to a longer form of narrative nonfiction. Her first book, Jagtlust, was published in 1998. It was followed by the widely praised biography of the popular Dutch children's writer Annie M.G. Schmidt, Anna (2002), which sold over 100.000 copies. 2004 saw the publication of the historical love story Sonny Boy, which also became a best-seller and sold over 600.000 copies. Both books were adapted into movies and Sonny Boy the film was Holland’s entry for the 2011 Oscars.
Annejets fourth book, Bernhard – a hidden history, gave a hitherto unknown and detailed portrait of husband of former Dutch queen Juliana. For this work she obtained a doctorate in History at the University of Amsterdam. In 2014 she published Gerard Heineken, a biography of the titular founder of the Heineken beer company. Like its predecessors, this book was nominated for several historical and literary awards. Annejet herself received several prizes for her oeuvre. among which the prestigious Golden Quill and the Amsterdam Art Prize 2017.
In her latest nonfiction book, Annejet traces the life story of Allene (Eileen) Tew, an American woman who made her way into European aristocracy in the 1930s and became the godmother of the former Dutch queen Beatrix. De Amerikaanse prinseswas published in November 2015. The book was highly praised and became a huge, number one bestseller in The Netherlands with over 200,000 copies sold. Also, the international television rights where sold.
The English translation, An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew was published in May of this year and has reached # 5 on the Wall Street Journal Best-selling books for nonfiction, as well as top positions on Amazon best read and best sold Charts.
In March 2018, Annejet van der Zijl published her first fiction-book together with Jo Simons, De val van Annika S. (The Fall of Annika S.). It is based on her experiences as a crime writer and is the first part in a series of five books.
Annejet lives with her husband and her dog and divides her time between an appartment in the centre of Amsterdam and a cottage on the Dutch coast.