At a time when women were finding their voices comes Hell Cat of the Hague: The Nel Slis Story, the remarkable tale of a female journalist who became the Associated Press’ first correspondent in The Hague after WWII. This story delves into the origins and follows the adventures of a larger-than-life character, fighting her way to make her mark in the world as a lone woman journalist and forming enduring friendships across the world.
From a lonely childhood on an island at the bottom of Holland, a love of languages launches Nel on her travels in the 1930s. From the Sorbonne and White Russians in Paris to a top-class nursing diploma in Switzerland, from the U.K. and Germany to Mussolini-watching in Rome as World War II breaks out, Nel sees it all. With her experience in nursing and the BBC wartime intelligence monitoring service, Nel falls ‘like a hair in the soup’ into journalism when the mighty Associated Press (AP) sets up shop in the UK. Postwar, Nel becomes the AP’s first correspondent in The Hague – and meets the love of her life, young American journalist Daniel Schorr. Together with Schorr, her direct and challenging American style of reporting transforms a profession suffering from the legacy of wartime occupation. The book also follows her reporting on the Dutch Royal Family, Nel and the Queen of Libya, her travels and work in the U.S. and much more. She becomes a legend in her own time, the exciting woman journalist every other journalist wants to interview and emulate. Also famed for her warmth, her wide circle of friends including cultural icons like Isaac Stern and Leo Bernstein, and her support for new journalists, especially women, this is a figure history should celebrate as this book surely does.