Marion Bloem Wins Constantijn Huygens Prize for ‘Personal’ Oeuvre
Dutch Writer Marion Bloem (b. 1952) is awarded this year’s Constantijn Huygens Prize (€12,000 euros) for her novels, stories and poems. According to the jury of the Jan Campert Foundation, Bloem's writing is 'personal, original, compelling and based on great social commitment'.
Bloem wrote her first children's books while studying. Her debut novel Geen gewoon Indisch meisje (No Ordinary East Indian Girl, 1983), which sold 350,000 copies, made her internationally known. Her most recent work, Indo, was published in 2020.
Her work often deals with the relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia, or the former colony of the Dutch East Indies. Indo's subtitle is 'a personal history about identity'. Bloems explores Indo culture, what it is made of, what the nickname 'Indo' means and why it is still used. It is work that 'anyone should read who is interested in the theme of identity', states the jury.
Marion Bloem © De Arbeiderspers / Ivan Wolffers
Marion Bloem often writes autobiographically; Haar goede hand (Her Good Hand, 2016) was about her mother and Een teken van leven (A Sign of Life, 2018) was about her sister.
Bloem celebrates her 70th birthday this year and her 50th as a writer. Her work has been translated into Japanese, German, English and Indonesian.
Bloem will publish a new book in January next year, Meisjes uit het dorp (Girls from the Village), the third book of a triptych with Geen gewoon Indisch meisje (No Ordinary East Indian Girl) and Een meisje van honderd (A Girl of a Hundred).
In addition to being a writer, Bloem is also a visual artist, documentary maker and filmmaker.
A sum of 12,000 euros is attached to the Constantijn Huygens Prize. Previous winners were Peter Verhelst (2021), Guus Kuijer (2020), Stefan Hertmans (2019), Nelleke Noordervliet (2018), Hans Tentije (2017), Atte Jongstra (2016) and Adriaan van Dis (2015).