What Media Says


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


Jun 21, 2018 / The Jakarta Post
on Fitri Nganthi Wani

Wiji Thukul’s daughter heals tragedy with poetry

At twilight on June 8 in Yogyakarta, Wani read out her poem titled Puisi untuk Ibu dan Adik (A Poem for My Mother and Little Brother), a 20-line message to her mother and younger brother to move on after her father went missing in 1998. Wani appeared at the launch of her poetry collection entitled Kau Berhasil Menjadi Peluru (You’ve Made It as a Bullet) in Yogyakarta on June 8. The new collection is the sequel to her anthology, Selepas Bapakku Hilang (After My Father was Gone), that was published in 2009. Puisi untuk Ibu dan Adik is one of 52 poems in the anthology, selected from around 270 written by Wani from 2010 to this year.
Jun 11, 2018 / The Jakarta Post
on Beni Satryo

Beni Satryo: Play with words, with sprinkles of dry humor

At first glance, Jakarta-based writer and poet Beni Satryo’s work comes across as being imbued with sprinkles of dry humor and droll sarcasm, the kind that is not atypical to “young”-ish, 20-something purveyors of the pen such as himself. But dig deeper, and that element of semi-comedy dissipates to make place for a refreshing earnestness: a naturally unpretentious sense of words and lines that is unique in its straightforward honesty.
Jun 11, 2018 / The Jakarta Globe
on Fitri Nganthi Wani

Words From a Bullet: Disappeared Poet’s Daughter Digs Deep Into Family Memory for New Poetry Book

Poet Fitri Nganthi Wani, the daughter of Indonesia's disappeared poet Wiji Thukul, has released a new poetry collection titled "Kau Berhasil Jadi Peluru" ("You Have Become a Bullet"), launched on Friday (08/06) at Yogyakarta's Jogja Village Inn. The title of the book is a reference to her father's legendary poetry collection "Aku Ingin Jadi Peluru" ("I Want to Be a Bullet") released in 2000. Fitri's new book contains 52 poems written from 2010 to 2018.
Jun 06, 2018 / Globetrotter
on Intan Paramaditha

Scaring away patriarchy with feminist author Intan Paramaditha

It was sometime in 2015 when this writer had a conversation with two friends about Indonesian author Intan Paramaditha. "Who is she?" asked one of the friends. The other answered as she pointed at me, "The one who first poisoned her with feminism." The word "Poisoned" made Intan sound like Snow White's Evil Queen; then again, if you've read her first book, she probably would take it as a compliment.
May 27, 2018 / South China Morning Post
on Xu Xi

How Marguerite Duras’ breakthrough novel changed a Hong Kong author’s life

With its minimal plot, spare dialogue, formal structure and vast unspoken well of bubbling sexual tension, French author and screenwriter Marguerite Duras’ breakthrough novel, Moderato Cantabile (1958), tells of a rich woman repeatedly discussing a recent murder with one of her husband’s former employees, and the pair not quite having an affair. Hong Kong novelist Xu Xi explains how it changed her life. “I read the book when I was 18 or 19, in about 1972, during an intermediate French class at university. At that time, I could read some French. It was the most astonishing piece of literature I’d ever read. It reveals the way a woman thinks and it’s very sexual. The repression is overtly expressed.”
May 21, 2018 / The Jakarta Post
on Endang Moerdopo

Endang Moerdopo: Her journey as a dancer and storyteller

When Endang Moerdopo arrived in Aceh back in 2004, the fierce tsunami had just devastated the province, popularly called Tanah Rencong. Endang had come to Aceh to assist the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (BRR) to help disaster victims get over their trauma through her expertise in dance therapy, as well as collect data for her master’s thesis in sociology. During her stay in Aceh, Endang, who now teaches social welfare sciences and is a postgraduate school director at the Widuri School of Social and Political Science in Jakarta, became acquainted with the story of a powerful, outstanding woman named Malahayati.
May 18, 2018 / The Jakarta Globe
on Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Max Lane on How Not to Get Lost in Translating Pramoedya Ananta Toer

For a long time, before the mini-boom in Indonesian literature in translation started by the buzz over Eka Kurniawan's "Beauty Is a Wound," the only Indonesian novels in English translation you would see on the shelf when you go into a bookstore overseas were more than likely to be Pramoedya Ananta Toer's "Buru Quartet" novels – "This Earth of Mankind," "Child of All Nations," "Footsteps" and "House of Glass." All four books were translated by one man, Indonesianist, political activist and former renegade Australian diplomat Max Lane. Lane is not the only man to have translated Pram's – the Indonesian nickname for the Nobel Prize in Literature-nominated author – books, there was also the Australian academic translator Harry Aveling ("The Fugitive," "The Girl From the Coast") and the American – reportedly a pseudonym – Willem Samuels ("All That Is Gone," "The Mute's Soliloquy"), but Lane's translations, first published by Penguin Australia and then picked up by Penguin Books worldwide, are the most well-known and have never been out of print since it was first released in 1983.
May 14, 2018 / The Jakarta Post
on Laksmi Pamuntjak

Laksmi Pamuntjak’s passion for all things culinary

Although not obvious at first, the kitchen and how we approach cooking, recipes and ingredients are a perfect metaphor for life. In her latest book, critically acclaimed Indonesian novelist, poet, journalist and food writer Laksmi Pamuntjak paints a colorful picture of the relationship between friendship, self-discovery and mouthwatering delicacies. The Birdwoman’s Palate, the English translation to Laksmi’s novel Aruna & Lidahnya ( 2014 ), was published in January this year.
May 01, 2018 / Mekong Review
on Eka Kurniawan

New Order child

As I had predicted, that afternoon Eka Kurniawan was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a business shirt (or even a checked shirt, which has been common attire in Indonesia since the 2014 Jakarta gubernatorial election). He was sitting at a table in the crowded food court of Pondok Indah Mall, having Japanese hot plate for lunch. After that, for our interview he picked Regal Coffee Factory, a small cafe inside the shopping centre. Only two other people were there. “Sometimes I come here because nobody else does,” Eka said, in his typically relaxed manner. I first met Eka in 2014. We have a mutual editor, and she had asked me to come to one of his events. For a male Indonesian writer he’s really pleasant to talk to. We’ve often caught up over coffee and shared what we’re reading: César Aira, Jenny Erpenbeck, Sjón — the list keeps growing. He’s been blogging for almost eighteen years now, mostly posting short reviews of books he’s read. His blog’s archive is a trove of recommendations.
Mar 22, 2018 / Personal Blog
on Khairani Barokka

First Collection Interview – Khairani Barokka

The first of these “what on earth does it mean to have a first full collection published” interviews went up yesterday and was with Joey Connolly. I’m asking a few different poets for their thoughts and will be posting them across the week, and today’s lovely generous interview comes from Khairani Barokka.