Family Room, by Lily Yulianti Farid, Translated by John H. McGlynn

All Things Books / Review

About Family Room,
Written by Lisa Hill, and was originally published in ANZ LitLovers,
Jul 22, 2015


Family Room is a dynamic collection of short stories by Indonesian author Lily Yulianti Farid, with whom I will be ‘in conversation’ at the forthcoming Bendigo Writing Festival. (If you haven’t got your tickets yet, here’s the link: you can buy a session ticket, or a festival pass which gets you into multiple events). I’m looking forward to it because – as I said in a review of a different collection, Lily is wrestling with the remarkable social and political changes of the post-Suharto era while also interrogating feminist issues in a patriarchal society. And it’s not often that we in Australia get the opportunity to hear authors from Indonesia, sharing their distinctive view of the world.

What makes this collection so different to any collection of Australian short stories is the political and social context in which they were first published in 2008-9. Until the resignation of the military dictator Suharto (1967-1998), dissent was very firmly suppressed in Indonesia and publications which offended those in power were very promptly shut down. Stories which satirise corruption would never have seen the light of day during Suharto’s 31-year grip on power…

Read the full article here.