Book Stories

Translating the darkness

Jan 07, 2018 / Apple and Knife
The New Zealand Festival's Reader and Writer's section is a chance to see some of your favourite authors and find many new ones. A very new author - at least to English language fiction is Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha.

The Birdwoman’s Palate by LAKSMI PAMUNTJAK

Jan 02, 2018 / The Birdwoman’s Palate
I’ve picked this book as one of my Kindle First in January, partially because I’m doing Reading Challenge at The Fiction Cafe Book club and the first one was to read a book with a food item on the cover. I’ve had few book contestants for this challenge but as soon as I saw this cover, I knew I had to buy it. It just so colourful and pretty, yes I do judge book by it’s cover. However now I will judge it also by its content.

Bre Redana launches book, reminisces about golden era of print journalism

Jan 02, 2018 / Koran Kami, With Lucy In The Sky
Koran Kami with Lucy in the Sky is a story about veteran journalist Santosa Santiana, also known as SS, who is asked by friends to create a newspaper amid the popularity of online media. The team recruits retired journalists and names their newspaper Koran Kami (Our Newspaper). They believe it is still possible for printed media to survive in this day and age. Bre includes a brief romance between SS and a subordinate, Lucy.

Eka Kurniawan Celebrates 15 Years of ‘Cantik Itu Luka’ With New Cover

Dec 21, 2017 / Cantik itu Luka
Indonesia's largest book publishing company Gramedia Pustaka Utama celebrated the 15th anniversary of Eka Kurniawan’s best selling novel "Cantik itu Luka," or "Beauty Is a Wound," at Kinokuniya book store in South Jakarta on Thursday (14/12). In conjunction with the event, Gramedia released a hardcover edition of the novel designed by Malang-based visual artist Orkha Creative.

Leila Chudori’s New Novel Speaks About Missing 1998 Activists

Dec 18, 2017 / Laut Bercerita
More than 500 silent rallies have already been held in front of the State Palace, each Thursday, demanding that the government investigate well-known cases of human rights abuses, including the disappearance of activists during the 1998 protests against Suharto's regime. "The Sea Speaks His Name," a new novel by writer and journalist Leila S. Chudori, describes the activists' families struggle for truth and justice.

Leila S. Chudori’s latest book adapted into short film

Dec 14, 2017 / Laut Bercerita
The latest book from Indonesian journalist and writer Leila S. Chudori, titled Laut Bercerita (The Sea Speaks His Name), is set to be adapted into a 30-minute short film under the same name.

My Pain, My Country: New novel seeks to bring nuance to 1998 Jakarta riots, Chinese diaspora

Dec 03, 2017 / My Pain, My Country
"I got the impression that people living outside of Indonesia, even in Australia, did not understand the 1998 riots properly," author Dewi Anggraeni says, reflecting on why she wrote her latest novel which tells the story of a Chinese-Indonesian woman caught up in the violent protests that led to President Suharto's fall. The 276-page novel — My Pain, My Country — was written and published in English, and looking back at the chaotic events some 20 years later, it seeks to bring cultural nuance to the anti-government protests in which the Chinese community was also specifically targeted, their houses burned down, and many women reportedly gangraped.

Intan Paramaditha’s ‘Gentayangan’ crosses many borders

Nov 13, 2017 / Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu
You yearn to travel, but never have. It’s too expensive, so you’re stuck here — in Indonesia, at your boring job teaching English, despite never having stepped foot in an English-speaking country. You’ve tried to find fulfillment in romance, but your boyfriends have all been losers. Meanwhile, your sister’s doing well: she has a successful husband, two cute kids, and runs her own Islamic fashion business. That’s fine for her, but it’s not the life you want for yourself. Not at all. What choice does a gal have but to cut a deal with the devil? So that’s exactly what you, the protagonist of Gentayangan, do.

One for fans of Tarantino-type violence

Nov 06, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Eka Kurniawan is the author of four novels as well as a number of short story collections. In 2016, he became the first Indonesian writer to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, for his first novel, Man Tiger. Overall, his works have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Sapardi Djoko Damono’s ‘Hujan Bulan Juni’ translated into Mandarin

Nov 03, 2017 / Hujan Bulan Juni: Novel
Poetry anthology Hujan Bulan Juni (A June Rain) by Sapardi Djoko Damono is now available in Mandarin, after a reader was compelled to translate the work. As reported by, TF Chan, who is of Indonesian descent but lives in Hong Kong, became a fan of Sapardi's book. Despite not being familiar with Sapardi, as well not having any background in linguistics, Chan said his interest in the work encouraged him to translate it.