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Xaviera Hollander was born Xaviera de Vries in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), to a Dutch Jewish father (a psychiatrist) and a French-German mother. She spent the first two years of her life in a Japanese internment camp, but later received a fine European education. 'Between my parents and myself, we speak a total of twelve languages - I personally speak five fluently.'
In every era, there is a handful of individuals who change the way we think or act. Xaviera Hollander was one of the leading spirits who brought sex out of the closet. 'Thinking about it now, she may even have been my entire sex education,' wrote Deborah Ross in the Independent (UK national newspaper).