What Media Say

Indonesian writers as seen on English/foreign-language media. See also Media Clippings.

Mar 15, 2018 / The Jakarta Globe
on Siti Rukiah Kertapati (1927-1996)

S. Rukiah Kertapati, Forgotten Woman Writer of the Indonesian Revolution

In 1953, a woman won the literature award from Indonesia's Badan Musyawarah Kebudayaan Nasional, one of the most prestigious awards in the country at that time. She became the first woman to win the award that normally went to men like Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Mochtar Lubis or Utuy Tatang Sontani. Her name was S. Rukiah Kertapati. Rukiah won for "Tandus" (Drought), a collection of poetry and short stories. First published in 1952, now the book has been reprinted by Bandung-based indie publisher Ultimus along with her novel "Kejatuhan dan Hati" (The Fall and the Heart) and a children book, "Pak Supi, Kakek Pengungsi" (Mr. Supi, the Refugee Grandpa).
Feb 13, 2018 / Inside Indonesia
on Wilson Tjandinegara (1946-2017)

Crossing the finish line

Last February many in the world of Indonesian letters were saddened to learn of the death in Makassar of Wilson Tjandinegara, also known in the Chinese world as Chen Donglong or 陳冬龍. Reminiscences appeared in the Chinese-language newspapers and magazines, and Wilson’s daughter made a visit to the Perhimpunan Penulis Tionghoa Indonesia (Chinese Indonesian Writers’ Association) to receive condolences and present a few of the writer’s effects.
Jan 19, 2018 / SBS
on Eliza Vitri Handayani

Navigating sex, politics and #metoo in Indonesian literature

Indonesian writer Eliza Vitri Handayani talks to Sarah Malik about the challenges of censorship, writing about sex in a conservative society and being a young female writer in a male-dominated literary landscape.
Jan 04, 2018 / The Jakarta Post
on Intan Paramaditha

Intan Paramaditha: Can’t be silenced

Feminist author Intan Paramaditha was born in Bandung, West Java, and grew up in Jakarta, but she doesn’t feel at home in either of the cities. “My home might be New York because I lived there for almost a decade,” the 37-year-old, who now lives in Australia where she lectures at Macquarie University, said.
Nov 29, 2017 / The Jakarta Post
on Bondan Winarno (1950-2017)

Journalist, culinary expert Bondan Winarno passes away

Senior journalist and culinary expert Bondan Winarno has passed away at the age of 67, kompas.com reported on Wednesday. Bondan passed away at West Jakarta's Harapan Kita Hospital, and will be transferred to his private residence in Sentul City, Bogor, West Java, prior to the funeral.
Nov 27, 2017 / The Jakarta Post
on Nh. Dini

NH Dini and her endless soul-searching journey

Looked after by the staff in a resort in the art village of Ubud, 81-year-old Nurhayati Sri Hardini Siti Nukatin — renowned by her pen name NH Dini, one of Indonesia’s living literary legends, sat in her wheelchair enjoying a sunny afternoon. “I can still walk properly, but I am a little bit tired after a night-long ceremony at the Ubud Royal Palace,” she said as she got up from the wheelchair to walk toward the resort’s café.
Nov 25, 2017 / VICE
on Eka Kurniawan

‘Almost All of My Novels Talk About Power Structures’: A Conversation With Eka Kurniawan

It's the kind of surreal, often humorous prose we've come to expect from Eka. He was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2016 for his book Man Tiger —a story about a man with an invisible tiger inside his body. His stories are unforgettable mixes of magical realism, drama, satire, and folklore. They're the kind of stories where fistfights or races are as common as women rising from the dead or a child being absorbed by an invisible white tiger. Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash includes tributes to some of Indonesia's best-known literary works, pencak silat, and pulpy crime novels. VICE's Stanley Widianto sat down with Eka over lunch out in Ciputat, Banten, to talk about his new book and whether Indonesian literature is trapped by the country's own past.
Nov 08, 2017 / The Jakarta Post
on Eka Kurniawan

Eka Kurniawan: Writing fearlessly

From a prostitute returning from the dead, a monkey dreaming of being a human to a man tragically finding himself impotent, award winning author Eka Kurniawan talks about politics, history, crime, sex and philosophy in a witty way. For Eka, his books are like his babies, including his third novel, Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash. Vengeance the English version of Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas, which was first published in 2014 in Indonesia.
Nov 03, 2017 / The Jakarta Post
on Feby Indirani

Bringing back tolerance through arts, reading

Historian JJ Rizal said the ancient kingdom of Sriwijaya, along with the neighboring port city of Barus in North Sumatra, possessed a strong intellectual tradition, which promoted open-mindedness and, in the end, became a flourishing international trade hub. The open-minded intellectual tradition also provided space for people from different religious.
Oct 30, 2017 / Mongabay
on Khairani Barokka

A roar for nature in Indonesia: Q&A with the poet behind ‘Indigenous Species’

Two decades after the catastrophic Indonesian wildfires of 1998-9, writer and artist Khairani Barokka revisits her feelings about the disaster in a book-length poem that highlights environmental degradation and indigenous rights violations. Barokka wrote “Indigenous Species” in 2013 for a performance at the Melbourne Emerging Writers’ Festival, and published it last December through Tilted Axis, a nonprofit press based in London. As an adolescent, Barokka witnessed her parents, an urban planner and an ecologist, try to deal with the fallout from the fires. Though no longer as severe, the burning still occurs every year across Sumatra, Borneo and other Indonesian regions, the result of large-scale peatland drainage and slash-and-burn practices. In 2015, smoke from the fires sickened half a million people.