Alma Mathijsen was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Image & Language at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Creative Writing at Pratt Institute in New York. She is the author of six plays, a collection of short stories and three novels. Her first novel Everything is Carmen was published by The Busy Bee in 2011, followed by The Great Good Things. Her latest novel Forget the Girls has been critically acclaimed, and is nominated for the BNG BANK Literary Prize. Mathijsen writes essays on feminism, representation and grief for NRC Handelsblad. Her work has also appeared in Vice US and Vice UK.
In the winter of 2016 Alma Mathijsen found herself on strangely familiar grounds while on a road trip through Louisiana and Mississippi. Strangely, because she had never been there or anywhere else in the Southern States before. While visiting several plantations in the area she wondered when in her life she had also looked the other way. The vast majority of the plantations tell beautiful stories about the lives of rich white rulers, and conveniently forget to mention the enslaved people. Things she saw made her realize that she too contributes to racism in society. What stories had she been telling herself in order to look away? Now what to do with that knowledge as a human being and a writer?