Anna Enquist, pen name of Christa Widlund-Broer, studied piano and psychology, became a pianist, now works as a psychologist, and is one of the most popular poets and novelists in the Netherlands. Her poetry has received many awards and her collections have sold tens of thousands of copies. Many of her poems are inspired by string quartets or piano music; her autobiographical poems centre on the themes of motherhood, music and psychology. Her poetry is generally melancholy and intense, stirred up with emotion. In 2004 she published a collection of poems, De tussentijd [The Interim], about the loss of her daughter, who died in a traffic accident. Her seventh and latest collection, Nieuws van nergens [News from Nowhere] was published in 2010.
Her novels have also brought her great success, both among critics and the public, with a range of nominations and prizes, including the Dutch Debut Prize for Het meesterstuk [The Masterpiece] (1994), the Trouw Public Prize for Het geheim [The Secret] (1997) and the French Prix du Livre Corderie Royale for the historical novel De thuiskomst [The Homecoming] (2005). In 2008 she published her fourth novel, Contrapunt [Counterpoint], about a woman learning Bach’s Goldberg Variations to help deal with her grief. Both the content and the form of the novel are determined by these technically demanding variations. Enquist’s work has been translated into twenty-one languages.