Writers on writing

Writers on writing, edited by Maurice Lee, Praeger 2005, contributions to the Study of World Literature, by Marion Bloem: Making the invisible visible. You can order the book directly from Praeger Press/Heinemann. Order from Ms. Kathy Barrett at She is in charge of ordering books and is in Customer Service - Author Liaison.

Seth Stevenson wrote a series about Amsterdam for Slate:

In the Thursday entry you will find his hilarious description of how we met in Amsterdam. I actually allowed the interview to have something about our action for the asylum seekers to be known worldwide. Hope it works that way... He appeared to be a humoristic writer and seemed a very modest guy when I met him. It was fun spending time with him, and he is one of the alert Americans I have met in my life. Marion Bloem.

Marion Bloem

Marion Bloem was born in the Netherlands in 1952, two years after her parents (Dutch-Indonesian) emigrated from Indonesia to the Netherlands. After high school Bloem studied clinical psychology at the State University of Utrecht. During her studies there, she published her first books for children. Soon she started to write, produce and direct short-feature films. Her first novel came out the same year (1983) as her first feature-length documentary appeared. Known as a novelist and filmmaker, Marion Bloem has also received widespread appreciation as a visual artist, since her first major exhibition in 1987. Her paintings, objects and prints are exhibited regularly in the Netherlands and abroad.


Her first novel (1983), an autobiographic story about her Eurasian background, was for six months at the top of the best-seller list, and is still a popular book. (Title: Not just an Ordinary Indonesian girl). Some of her literary work has been translated into English, German, Persian, Japanese and Hungarian. Several of her novels have been published in Germany and one in the United States. One of her novels for young readers has been published in Japan. Marion Bloem wrote and published twelve novels for adults, three short-story books, several poetry books, seven children novels, and nine books for young children.

In February 2011 her new novel “More than manly”, a book about eternal love, lust, desire, manhood, and the confrontation with disease and death, will be published by Prometheus. Bloem’s portrait on the cover is by Anton Corbijn.


In 1978 the press successfully received her book ‘Overgang’ about menopause (Bert Bakker, 1978). Together with Ivan Wolffers she published soon after that Hyperventilation. In May 2010 the same Publishing House will release the book “When your husband is changing”, a book about what partners of prostate cancer patients go through. In this book Bloem interviews fifteen partners, added with medical information by Paul Kil (urologist).


Apart from six short films and several television programs, Marion Bloem has made two feature-length documentaries. 'Never the twain shall meet' ('Het land van mijn ouders', literally: 'My Parents Country'), is about the Dutch-Indonesian immigrants who came to the Netherlands after the Indonesian Revolution. It was shown in cinemas and received excellent reviews. She made another 90-minute documentary 'Your friends are coming' (Dutch title: 'Wij komen als vrienden') about deserters from the Dutch colonial army, which fought the Indonesian revolution army after the Second World War. Bloem had taken several post-graduate courses in screenplay writing, at North by Northwest, The Maurits Binger Institute and Screenteam, to further develop herself as a screenwriter of feature films.

In September 2008 her long feature film Far From Family was selected for the International Film festival Film By The Sea. The movie is about a migrant girl, raised in the United States of America, born in Holland from parents with their roots in Indonesia that is going to Holland to get to know her Dutch-Indonesian family and to understand more about the secrets around her biological parents. That movie, written and directed by Marion Bloem, was based on her novel. The lyrics in the movie are written by Bloem too. Composers are Alex Britti, Fons Merkies and others. The movie is available on DVD, English subtitled. The movie will be shown on Dutch television in three parts, each 50 minutes, August 2010.

Prizes and awards

Marion Bloem received the DU PERRON Prize in 1993 for her entire oeuvre, as a writer, filmmaker, and artist. In l987 Marion Bloem won the VPRO KID SCREEN AWARD for her short children's film about classical music ("The Sorcerers' apprentice"). The film also received two honorable mentions, one from the French cultural prizes and one from Dutch Filmzien. In 1991 she received the Jenny Smelik IBBY-Prize and an honorable mention in Basel (Die Blaue Brillenschlange) in 1992 for the children's book Matabia. Her latest novel (Vervlochten grenzen, 2009) was nominated in 2009 for the Du Perron Prize 2009.


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