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George A. Fowler

Authors / Translator

George A. Fowler lived and travelled widely in the Asia Pacific region for over 30 years, first as a US Marine, then as a student of Chinese and Malay, and finally for 23 years as a commercial banker. He co-authored “Pertamina: Indonesian National Oil” and “Java, A Garden Continuum” while living in Indonesia in the early 1970s. George received a B.A. from St. Michael’s College, the University of Toronto, in 1975, and an M.A.I.S. (China Studies) from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in 2002.

His translation of Beijing-based Lin Zhe’s generational novel “Old Town” and Marah Rusli’s classic Indonesian Malay novel “Sitti Nurbaya,” were both published in 2011 by Amazon Crossing and Lontar respectively. These were followed by “The Golden Road” and “Life Under Mao Zedong’s Rule,” both by Hong Kong-based Zhang Da-Peng . He has translated the popular 1920s Netherlands East Indies novel “The Rose of Cikembang” by Kwee Tek Hoay and “Ceremony” by the Indonesian Dayak poet and novelist, Korrie Layun Rampan. In early 2016, Lontar published his translation of a collection of 22 short stories by the Semarang, Central Java-based writer and poet, Triyanto Triwikromo under the title “A Conspiracy of God-killers” in addition to his translations of works by the contemporary Indonesian writers Azhari, Ben Sohib, Taufik Ikram Jamil, Gunawan Maryanto, Ni Made Purnama Sari, Dea Anugrah, and Heru Joni Putra. These latter works appear in trilingual (Indonesian, English and German) format under Lontar’s BTW [“By The Way”] imprint. In late 2016, his translation of a best-selling Chinese police-procedural thriller by Gang Xueyin was published by Amazon Crossing as “A Devil’s Mind.”

The 2-volume Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Short Stories and the Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Poetry, each of which include a number of George’s translations, have both been published in July, 2017 by the University of Hawai’i Press.

George has more recently translated “Islam Dalam Bingkai Keindonesiaan Dan Kemanusiaan- Sebuah Refleksi Sejarah,” by one of Indonesia’s leading public intellectuals and former general chairman of Muhammadiyah, Ahmad Syafii Maarif. This has now been published as “Islam, Humanity and the Indonesian Identity: Reflections on History” in 2018 by the University of Leiden Press, the Netherlands.

George’s translation of Chinese writer Lu Tao’s first novel of his “Silver City Trilogy,” with the title of “About My Dad, Who Could Fly: A Novel of China’s Northwest” is available on Amazon.com.

In late 2020, Lontar published his translation of the young Indonesian poet Heru Joni Putra’s award-winning collection, “Badrul Mustafa Badrul Mustafa Badrul Mustafa,” as “Will Badrul Mustafa Never Die? — Verse From the Front.”

George and his wife, Scholastica Auyong, currently live near Seattle, where he is a full-time freelance translator of Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, and Tagalog.

In the Headlines


Words Without Borders / Translations
Mar 05, 2019

Books — or in Translation(s)/Editing(s)

Work(s) in Translation

Geology, by Nirwan Dewanto, published in Writing from Indonesia (Mar 05, 2019)

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