On Joesoef Isak

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About Joesoef Isak,
Written by Max Lane, and was originally published in Indonesia Southeast Asia And International Affairs, USYD,
Sep 14, 2006


Joesoef Isak was one of three men who founded a publishing company in 1980 called Hasta Mitra. All three had been political prisoners for at least ten years under the Suharto dictatorship and all three had been prominent intellectuals, publishers and journalists before they were arrested. I got to know all three while they were preparing to publish their first books, the novels of Indonesia’s great writer, Pramoedya Ananta Toer – novels he had written while on the prison island of Buru, in eastern Indonesia. I became translator of the first four of these novels published in Indonesia, all of which were banned soon after they were published. These were This Earth of Mankind, Child of All Nations, Footsteps and Glass House. This Earth of Mankind is now in its thirteenth printing in English.

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