Mieke Eerken's father was a ten-year-old boy living in the Dutch East Indies. When the Japanese invade the island he was interned in a concentration camp, where he is forced to do hard labor for three years. Meanwhile, across the globe, police in the Netherlands carry a crying five-year-old girl out of her home, abandoned and ostracized as a daughter of Nazi sympathizers. This was Mieke's mother. All Ships Follow Me moves from Indonesia to the Netherlands to the United States, as Mieke recounts her parents' stories and journeys with them to the important places of their childhood, in an attempt to understand their experiences on two different "sides" of the war and bring to light events and experiences often overlooked in WWII histories.
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MIEKE EERKENS teaches creative writing for UCLA Extension's Writer's Program and is a visiting instructor for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She received an MFA from the University of Iowa, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, PEN America, and Guernica.