Reformations: Indonesian Literature in Translation

Works in Translation (by Issue)


Aug 27, 2015, The Margins


A Series on Indonesian Literature in the Margins.

Indonesian’s stories may not be well known, but Indonesian writers are capturing them. Slowly, the rest of the world is starting to pay attention. This year Indonesia is the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the first time a Southeast Asian nation has been chosen to showcase its culture at the largest and most important publishing event in the world. Indonesia’s slogan for this event, “17,000 Islands of Imagination,” evokes the commonplace of Indonesia as “an imagined nation,” and perhaps indicates that even the national organizing committee doesn’t know what keeps this country together. Inspired by Frankfurt, with support from the Lontar Foundation and the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN), the Asian American Writers’ Workshop decided it was a perfect occasion to introduce a series on Indonesian literature in The Margins.

Our occasional series, spread out over the next six months, is designed to introduce some of Indonesia’s most gifted writers and give readers a flavor of an expansive literary tradition that weaves together cultures, histories, religions, languages, and myths.


Introduction / Foreword


Indonesia on the Global Literary Stage by Jyothi Natarajan by Margaret Scott

Work(s) in Translation


Apple and Knife by Intan Paramaditha, translated by Stephen J. Epstein
From Abidah El Khalieqy’s Mataraisa by Abidah El Khalieqy, translated by Joan Suyenaga
From Leila S. Chudori’s Home by Leila S. Chudori, translated by John H. McGlynn

Work(s) originally published in English


Why I Wrote a Novel About Indonesian Political Exiles - Leila S. Chudori