Melanie Fleurie is a woman of forty, a successful
author who tries to write an autobiography so that she can
reach a deeper understanding of her personal and sexual identity.
The project fails, and instead she writes a letter to her
ninety-year-old grandmother, Charlotte, setting down the stories
of four generations of women. At the core of Marion Bloem's
work are the difficulties facing second-generation Dutch-lndonesians:
children who were born in The Netherlands, but who are sufficiently
Indonesian to be barred from "belonging" to either country.
They feel most drawn to Indonesia, but the realities of that
country conflict with the nostalgic tales their older relatives
tell about the East Indies. The magical and mysterious fabric
of Indonesian culture, as seen from a Western point of view,
is drawn tautly over the historical turmoil Indonesia experiented
during the Dutch colonial period, the Japanese Occupation
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