Book Stories


Fiction review: Apple and Knife

Mar 30, 2018 / Apple and Knife
Intan Paramaditha's Apple and Knife, translated from Indonesian for the first time by Stephen J. Epstein, delivers a short sharp suite of tales. It would be tempting to describe the volume as feminist horror, though undercurrents of violence and misogyny, myth and madness don't stop it smouldering with black comedy and flickering into moments of unexpected victory.

Dee Lestari and her most challenging novel yet

Mar 26, 2018 / Aroma Karsa
Aroma Karsa, which is Dee’s 12th novel, tells a story of a young man named Jati Wesi who has an extraordinary sense of smell. Jati’s ability to smell and perceive odors is higher than average, a condition scientifically known as hyperosmia. Ironically, Jati grew up in Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java, home to a large waste processing plant that is notorious for its foul smells. Jati works many odd jobs, but the job that he is most proud of is that of perfume maker.

Intan’s books signed by UK publisher

Mar 24, 2018 / Apple and Knife Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu
British publishing company Harvill Secker has signed two books by Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha — short story collection Apple and Knife and a novel in which the readers choose their own narrative path, The Wandering.

‘Fierce and Unconventional’ Intan Paramaditha Signs UK, Commonwealth Book Deals

Mar 23, 2018 / Apple and Knife Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu
Sydney-based Indonesian author Intan Paramaditha has signed a deal with publisher Harvill Secker for her short story collection "Apple and Knife" and experimental novel "The Wandering," a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Thursday (22/03) said. Harvill Secker, an imprint of Vintage, is known to print international literature from around the world. Previous titles include Yuval Noah Harari’s "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" and Haruki Murakami’s "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle." The publishing company’s senior editor Ellie Steel signed the UK and Commonwealth rights for Intan’s two books from Kelly Falconer at Asia Literary Agency.

Indonesian writer’s ‘fierce and unconventional’ fiction to Harvill

Mar 21, 2018 / Apple and Knife Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu
Harvill Secker has acquired two "fierce and unconventional" books from Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha. It will publish feminist short story collection Apple and Knife in spring 2019 and The Wandering, a novel about displacement where the reader chooses their own narrative path, in 2020. Ellie Steel, senior editor at Harvill Secker, signed UK and Commonwealth rights in both books from Kelly Falconer at Asia Literary Agency.

Sapardi Djoko Damono’s ‘Hujan Bulan Juni’ third novel launched

Mar 18, 2018 / Yang Fana Adalah Waktu (Trilogi Hujan Bulan Juni #3)
Writer and poet Sapardi Djoko Damono launched on Friday the third novel of the Hujan Bulan Juni (Rain in June) trilogy, Yang Fana Adalah Waktu (Time is Mortal). The first novel of the trilogy, Hujan Bulan Juni (HBJ), was released in June 2015. Meanwhile the second one, Pingkan Melipat Jarak (Pingkan Folds the Distance), was launched in March last year, which was coincided with his 77th birthday celebration.

Intan Paramaditha Apple and Knife

Mar 03, 2018 / Apple and Knife
This new story collection by the Indonesian-born Intan Paramaditha uses horror as a vehicle for representing the experiences of women living in patriarchy and for expressing feminist anger. The results are both unsettling and intoxicating. Often revising fairytales, the stories are reminiscent of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, though the direct manner of narration resembles the narrative style of Haruki Murakami, who also has a penchant for the Gothic.

‘My Pain, My Country’: A detailed account of a rape victim

Feb 28, 2018 / My Pain, My Country
Imagine that your teenage daughter has been raped. What would you do? You venture into the streets in panic to find her, but the streets are blocked as riots have flared across the city. And you happen to be a Chinese Indonesian, a member of a community most vulnerable to attacks. Terror reins your mind and conflicting streams of thoughts rush in. What words to utter when you would eventually meet her? How would you unroll your day as one minute has become an eternity? How would your neighbours, relatives and friends react to learning this? My Pain, My Country tells you all about it in exacting details.

Apple and Knife by Intan Paramaditha

Feb 26, 2018 / Apple and Knife
Apple and Knife is an engrossing collection of short stories by Intan Paramaditha, translated into English from Indonesian for the first time by Stephen J. Epstein. I found myself so absorbed in the tales that I repeatedly lost track of time while reading. Fairytales, mythology, bits of horror and fantasy, moralistic vengeance, infidelity, and even witchcraft are all thrown together with a feminist bent to deliver the chapters in this small volume.

Eliza Vitri Handayani on Her Novel of Freedom Set in a Repressed Society

Feb 13, 2018 / From Now On Everything Will Be Different
Indonesian writer Eliza Vitri Handayani's short works have appeared in the Griffith Review, Asia Literary Review, Exchanges Journal, Magdalene, Jakarta Post, Koran Tempo, Words Without Borders, Inside Indonesia, and Index on Censorship. In 2012 she launched InterSastra, an initiative to improve literary translation in Indonesia. In 2016 Eliza was selected as a WrICE fellow and participated in residencies in China and Australia. Her controversial novel From Now On Everything Will Be Different (Vagabond Press) was published in 2015. Told in a series of deftly deployed flashbacks, the story revolves around two lovers who participated in the student protest movement that helped to oust Suharto in 1998, who had ruled Indonesia under his repressive New Order regime since 1967.