Marion Bloem

Writer / See Roots

She was born in Arnhem (Aug 24, 1952), and currently lives in Arnhem

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A Dutch writer and film maker of Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) descent. She is best known as author of the literary acclaimed novel ‘Geen gewoon Indisch meisje’ (No ordinary Indo girl) and director of the 2008 feature film ‘Ver van familie’ (Far from family).

Bloem is a second generation Indo immigrant born in a family of four children. Her parents, Alexander and Jacqueline Bloem, repatriated from Indonesia in 1950. Her father is also a survivor of the Junyo Maru disaster. Bloem, herself a psychologist, is married to Dutch author and physician Ivan Wolffers. Their son, Kaja Wolffers, is a filmproducer.

Next to her career as an author and film director, Bloem is also a visual artist whose work is exhibited around Europe. Bloem wrote the poem ‘Freedom’, that has been translated into more than 100 languages and is published all over the world, distributed in print and in videos on youtube.

Bloem’s first short story was published in 1968, when she was only 16 years old. Bloem made her bona fide debut as a writer in 1976, with the book De overgang (The Transition). She continued to write several more books, including the children’s book Matabia in 1981, which received the ‘Smelik Prize’ from the ‘International Board on Books for Young People’. In 1983 she published her literary acclaimed breakthrough novel Geen gewoon meisje, which describes the duality and paradox of an Indo (Eurasian) girl, followed in 1989 by the novel Vaders van betekenis, loosely translated to Noteworthy Fathers, which describes the relationship of an Indo girl towards her Indo parents and Indo father in particular. She continues to write successful books, often around the topics of (Indo) identity and immigration. In 2009 she wrote Vervlochten grenzen (Intertwined Borders) about the triangular relationship between the Dutch East Indies, the Netherlands and Indonesia. For this book she received an ‘E. du Perron Prize’ nomination.