Media Clippings


A compilation of every mention of Indonesian writers, written on English/foreign-language media. See also What Media Say.


Album Review: Suara Dari Jauh by AriReda

Mar 31, 2017 / The Jakarta Post by Stanley Widianto
AriReda, the contemporary folk duo comprising guitarist/singer Ari Malibu and singer/writer Reda Gaudiamo, breathed new life into his work, shedding new light in the otherwise antiquated appreciation of his poetry — the way they did ...

Characterisation and unlikeable characters

Feb 27, 2017 / WrICE by Jennifer Porter
For Pasaribu, character is his starting point, beginning with a voice, and from this, building a character. Once he has his character he looks for an interesting scene in which to insert them, the scene often becoming the beginning of a story. ‘you have to make the path from the paver’ Once the character is established, the scene or story can be altered, the pavers can be moved around. In building a character, Pasaribu starts with a secret, the thing hidden, a vulnerability. The character’s secret will ultimately reflect their desires, and their desires will determine how they interact with the world.

Language and Imagery

Feb 14, 2017 / WrICE by Jennifer Porter
Norman Erikson Pasaribu, award-winning Indonesian short story and poet, joins multi-award winning novelist, short story writer and playwright, Australian Christos Tsiolkas, at one end of a rectangular table formation to run a workshop exploring approaches to story-telling, with a focus on the use of imagery, language and characterization. Pasaribu reads a short story, ‘A lullaby for your long sleep,’ characteristically whimsical (but resonating with political undertones), his fusion of folklore and contemporary storytelling structured as a story within a story.

Lost in translation: why the world is missing out on Indonesia’s best writers

Jan 05, 2017 / Southeast Asia Globe by Dene Mullen
It is acutely difficult for a ‘foreign’ author to break into the English-language market, where only 3% of the published works are translations from other languages. Even the world’s fourth most populous nation is struggling ...

Crossing Boundaries: New voices from Indonesia

Oct 17, 2016 / ABC Radio National by Michael Cathcart
A breathtaking collection of short stories has been translated from various Indonesian languages into English, providing insight into modern life in our northern neighbour. This collection of stories has its origins in the town of ...

The illusion of ASEAN and how literature can help

Aug 03, 2016 / The Jakarta Post by Okky Madasari
This month ASEAN celebrates its 49th anniversary. What does it mean for us? For almost half a century, ASEAN has been a big illusion fed to all of us. In school we were taught about ASEAN and told that we were “ASEAN people”, without ever understanding what that meant or using the term outside of our classrooms.

‘Horizon’ magazine switches to online after 50 years of publication

Jul 28, 2016 / The Jakarta Post by Intan Tanjung
Indonesian literary magazine Horizon has stopped publishing its printed publication and will instead produce only online content. The announcement was made Tuesday at an event in Jakarta to mark on the magazine’s 50th anniversary. “In order to embrace ...

Understanding Indonesia through literary festivals

Jun 08, 2016 / The Jakarta Post by Sanaz Fotouhi
In May I came to Indonesia to investigate the country’s literary landscape in an effort to bring the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators’ annual event to Jakarta in 2017. Yet, I returned to Melbourne with far more than connections to run next year’s event. As someone who knew very little about Indonesian literature, I came to understand the various literary events and people’s passion for literature in a country where, apparently, literature and reading do not take high priority. My journey took me to Jakarta and also to Makassar, South Sulawesi, where two rather new literary festivals embrace and reflect the people’s changing relationship with literature. This relationship is perhaps often not seen in and beyond Indonesia.

Celebrating Indonesia’s literary fiction tradition

Jun 02, 2016 / The Jakarta Post by Sebastian Partogi
As part of its annual literary fiction program, Indonesia’s leading daily newspaper Kompas has launched its annual best short story anthology, consisting of work printed by the paper throughout 2015. The event was held in ...

‘17,000 islands of imagination’: discovering Indonesian literature

May 28, 2016 / The Guardian by Louise Doughty
In February last year, I was sitting in Cafe Batavia on Fatahillah Square in Jakarta, talking to an Indonesian friend. We were discussing how any novelist might describe a country to a readership who know nothing about it. We were surrounded by framed photos of Indonesian politicians and Hollywood stars, and the ceiling fans turned overhead. Outside, it was hot and overcast, and students milled around the front of the History Museum, built by the Dutch in 1710 and now housing objects from the founding of Jayakarta in 1527. How could any writer portray such a diverse culture? My friend smiled wryly. “You only have the same problem as the rest of us,” he said. “Indonesia isn’t a nation. It’s an imagination.”