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Jakarta Post / All Things Books
May 24, 2024

Jakarta Post / As Seen On
May 21, 2024

Foreign Affairs / What Media Says
May 17, 2024

Electric Literature / All Things Books
May 16, 2024

‘17,000 islands of imagination’: discovering Indonesian literature

Media Clippings




In February last year, I was sitting in Cafe Batavia on Fatahillah Square in Jakarta, talking to an Indonesian friend. We were discussing how any novelist might describe a country to a readership who know nothing about it. We were surrounded by framed photos of Indonesian politicians and Hollywood stars, and the ceiling fans turned overhead. Outside, it was hot and overcast, and students milled around the front of the History Museum, built by the Dutch in 1710 and now housing objects from the founding of Jayakarta in 1527. How could any writer portray such a diverse culture? My friend smiled wryly. “You only have the same problem as the rest of us,” he said. “Indonesia isn’t a nation. It’s an imagination.”

Read the full article here.



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