Huberta Hellendoorn

The Madonna in the Suitcase  (2009) is a memoir about Huberta's daughter Miriam who in 1962 was born with Down syndrome. Miriam's  paintings were in much demand before she had a stroke at the end of 2001. 

Huberta writes about the hardships inherent in raising a child with special needs but also wants to show the joys and triumphs Miriam's life has brought to them.  Read more . . . 

Download sample (PDF)

Buy eBook at Amazon (US$7.99)

Astride a Fierce WindIn May 2017 Huberta’s memoir Astride a Fierce Wind was released by Mākaro Press under its Submarine imprint.

Publisher Mary McCallum writes: "This is a story of the life of an immigrant and what it means to leave behind one home and cross the world to find another, but it is also the story of a life of a woman who faces huge difficulties and and yet chooses instead to see beauty and strength and freedom and love. This memoir is both a celebration of the Dutch way of life and a celebration of Huberta's adopted home of Dunedin. It is a powerful story written with courage and an understanding of the power of words."


Huberta is currently working on Tipping the Balance, an historical novel for older children.

Other publications 

Two published short stories: The Organist (Sport 17) and Rosemary's Garden (Takahe 42). 

Radio New Zealand accepted short stories which have been broadcast with repeats. RNZ also aired a five-part adaptation of The Madonna in the Suitcase (read by Huberta and available at Radio New Zealand, PO Box 123, Wellington).

Listen to The Cellar's Echo  on Standing Room Only , Radio NZ, 13 November 2016.

Article in Fiction Plus (April 2001). 

Article on her experience as mother of a Down's Syndrome daughter printed in the Australian Women's Weekly (September 1997 issue) and reprinted in its original form in Community Moves (Volume 35, No.1, October 1997). This story was also short-listed in a competition in the U.K.

Short story (Wonder Waffles) in Another 30 New Zealand Stories (ed. Barbara Else, Random House, 2002). 

Excerpt of The Madonna in the Suitcase in Family Care NZ, Winter 2007, Issue 4.

Several articles in the Christchurch Press and in Dutch magazines and newspapers.