Marjolijn De Jager Wisdom Goddess Project Participant


Marjolijn de Jager


Marjolijn was born in 1936 on Borneo, Indonesia—then still a Dutch colony known as the Netherlands East-Indies—where her father was a young engineer with Royal Dutch Oil (Shell). After brief travels to the Netherlands and the USA, the family returned to Java in late 1941. The Japanese invaded the country in March 1942 and Marjolijn and her mother spent the next 3 ½ years interned in three separate Japanese POW camps.


After almost a year in Melbourne, Australia, where her mother spent 6 months in the hospital recuperating from the war years, they went to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in October 1946. Elementary and secondary school were the highlights of her young life. To this day she has two close friends left from that happy era, in addition to her oldest and dearest friend with whom she shared the war years, all now in their early eighties.


With her mother and stepfather’s new family she emigrated to the USA in June 1958.


Marjolijn earned a PhD. in Romance Languages and Literatures from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1975 and isnow retired from a 35-year long teaching career (both secondary and college levels). She misses teaching, one of her passions, but continues by tutoring ESL at CIRI (CT Institute for Refugees and Immigrants) in Bridgeport.

She is self-employed as a literary translator of fiction and non-fiction from the French and the Dutch, while Francophone African literature has a special place in her heart (for details see


From her first marriage, which ended in divorce, she has a son and a daughter, both warm and caring adults and highly accomplished professionals. In addition, the family consists of five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


Other passions are her grandchildren, reading, knitting, travel, and her cats.


She lives in Stamford, CT, with David Vita, her husband of 36 years.

Listen to Marjolijn De Jager

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”″]