What Media Says

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

Mar 05, 2020 / Asia House
on Intan Paramaditha

Author Q&A: Intan Paramaditha, The Wandering

The most ingenious and unusual novel you will read all year, where you choose your own story. You’ve grown roots, you’re gathering moss. You’re desperate to escape your boring life teaching English in Jakarta, to go out and see the world. So you make a Faustian pact with a devil, who gives you a gift, and a warning. A pair of red shoes to take you wherever you want to go. You’re forever wandering, everywhere and nowhere, but where is your home? And where will you choose to go? We caught up with Indonesian author Intan Paramaditha ahead of our event with her at Foyles on 31 March.
Feb 29, 2020 / Google Doodles
on Nh. Dini

NH Dini’s 84th Birthday

Inspired by her international travels and relentless pursuit for women’s rights, Dini devoted her life to writing and published dozens of novels, short stories, and poems over her 60-year career. Through works such as “Pada Sebuah Kapal” (“On a Ship,” 1985), and “Namaku Hiroko” (“My Name Is Hiroko,” 1986), Dini’s fiction continues to empower women today. Here’s to a writer whose words live on in the hearts and minds of readers around the world.
Feb 29, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Nh. Dini

Google Doodle celebrates 84th birthday of literary legend NH Dini

Indonesian literary legend Nurhayati Sri Hardini Siti Nukatin, renowned as NH Dini, would have turned 84 on Saturday – an event commemorated with a Google Doodle. Illustrated by Jakarta-based artist Kathrin Honesta, the doodle has the prolific writer wearing glasses while filling pages upon pages of paper with words. According to Google’s Doodle page, NH Dini “grew up listening to her mother read stories from local magazines" and later became a famous author whose works mostly focused on gender issues as she was known to resist "the traditional role of women established by Javanese patriarchy".
Feb 02, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Angelina Enny

Winternachten literary festival and the art of decolonization

Former Dutch colonies are the focus at Winternachten in The Hague, one of the Netherlands’ biggest literary festivals. “Again, your excellency, we are in 1939, and just as your parliament expressed expectations that it would take at least another century before Indonesians are ready for independence, I am also voicing my expectations that before the end of the next decade, and most likely after a regrettably bloody independence struggle, I will be sitting at the same table with your Queen to discuss the independence of my country and my people.” This imaginary letter from Mohammad Hatta, who at the time was jailed in Banda Naira and later became Indonesia’s first vice president, to then-Dutch prime minister Henrikus Colijn, was penned by Dutch author Reggie Baay.  
Jan 26, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Tiffany Tsao

Tiffany Tsao: Giving outsiders a voice

Growing up, Tiffany Tsao was never in one place long enough to call it home. Her nomadic upbringing had her and her family living in the United States, Singapore and Indonesia and being an American citizen of Indonesian-Chinese descent, she not only found it difficult to establish a physical home, but a cultural one as well. Whenever anyone asked where she was from, she did not know exactly how to respond. “I had to decide what kind of answer to give — the short story or the longer one,” Tiffany told The Jakarta Post via email. “Did I want to explain that I was technically a US citizen? Or that my parents were both ethnic Chinese, but more specifically, part of the Chinese diaspora to Indonesia?”
Jan 16, 2020 / Asymptote
on Putu Oka Sukanta

Putu Oka Sukanta and the Hidden Wounds of World History

Putu Oka Sukanta does not fit the western image of a celebrated author. The writer lives in a simple house, tucked away on a surprisingly calm alley in industrial East Jakarta. He receives journalists and fellow writers in his home and writing space, which doubles as a traditional medicine organization and an acupuncture studio. It is not the kind of office with book-lined shelves and a large desk piled high with papers and poetic scraps; instead, herbal treatments line the counter by the front door and a large acupuncture table dwarfs a simple writing desk. I visited Putu Oka shortly after his eightieth birthday to ask the author for reflections on his literary career. He gave me a firm handshake when I sat down across from him. “So what is it that you need from me?” His question, straightforward and gentle, could almost have been an inquiry about a health issue rather than the beginning of my interview. It may have been a little bit of both. Prolific but under-recognized, Putu Oka writes so as to heal his nation’s collective trauma. His representations of personal experiences as a political prisoner address painful histories that Indonesia has too long kept quiet. And for foreign readers, his texts have the potential to act as a multifaceted diagnosis of the country’s complex past and present.
Dec 09, 2019 / Asymptote
on Ayu Utami

Personal Histories, Sexual Politics: An Interview with Ayu Utami

Jakarta in the 1990s was bubbling with new ideas of freedom. During the third decade of Suharto’s military dictatorship in Indonesia, punks met on the streets that soldiers patrolled. Cafés and bars pulsed with the energy of youth movements. Quality journalism found ways to wriggle its way around censorship, both official and communal. And when writers couldn’t get past the strict barriers imposed by military rule, they still circulated their critical narratives by donning pen names or disguising fact as fiction. Ayu Utami was one of the journalists blacklisted from publishing openly in the late 1990s. A member of the group of artists and intellectuals that established Komunitas Utan Kayu, Jakarta’s first space dedicated to art and free expression under military rule, she nevertheless continued to publish her reportage anonymously. Only weeks before participating in the student movement that would pull Suharto from power, she also released her first novel, Saman, which caused massive controversy—in part because of its serendipitous timing, but also because of its uninhibited treatment of taboo topics, both political and sexual.
Dec 05, 2019 / Antara
on Laksmi Pamuntjak

Laksmi Pamuntjak releases third novel

Laksmi Pamuntjak, a prominent Indonesian author, released her third novel, 'Fall Baby', presenting a multi-theme of women, visual art, history and identity. Fall Baby tells the story of two women – Srikandi (Siri) and Dara, one a globetrotting visual artist, the other a human rights activist.
Oct 28, 2019 / Qantara
on Feby Indirani

Interview with author and feminist Feby Indirani: “God is my partner in crime”

Described by some as a Muslim feminist, Feby Indirani’s writing is daring and light-hearted at once. Her collection of short stories – "Bukan Perawan Maria" – recently translated into Italian, parodies the inconsistencies of radical Islam and orthodoxy, while seeking to emphasise the humanity we all share. Interview by Naima Morelli
Oct 10, 2019 / Jakarta Post
on Eka Kurniawan

Eka Kurniawan turns down award from Education and Culture Ministry

Renowned Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan revealed that he had turned down an award from the Education and Culture Ministry. Established in 2012, the Cultural Awards and Traditional Art Maestro Awards will be given to 59 recipients from eight categories this year. Among the recipients are late comedian Djudjuk Srimulat, composer Purwa Tjaraka, singer Rose Pandanwangi and artist Amrus Nastalsya.