Author

Miep Diekmann

For more than thirty years, from the mid nineteen fifties onwards, Miep Diekmann (1925-2017) played a prominent role in the world of children’s books. She stimulated the developments within Dutch youth literature through reviews, interviews and readings. She was also a translator and coached budding children’s authors. Her own works number some fifty titles in various genres, for differing age groups. The five years of her youth she spent in Curaçao inspired her gripping West Indian tales. Typical of Diekmann’s work are her impressive choice of subjects, her social involvement, the convincing characterisations of the figures in her stories and her confidence in the capacities of the reader both cognitively and emotionally.

Marijn and the Smugglers

Marijn and the Smugglers

(Leopold, 1965, 332 pages)

This historical youth novel is out on its own where its approach to Dutch colonial history is concerned. The central theme is slave trading in the Caribbean. The three children of a Dutch dignitary lose both their parents in a hurricane in Curaçao, in 1681. Sixteen-year-old Marijn goes to work as an apprentice surgeon on the ships of various slave traders, including that of the infamous smuggler, Jacob Pieterz, a transporter who avoids the regulations of the West Indian Company.

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