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Indonesia on the Global Literary Stage

Media Clippings

How did you first become interested in Indonesia? What drew you to the country’s language and literature and eventually to the founding of the Lontar Foundation? When I was a student of theater and fine arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the 1970s, I was introduced to Javanese shadow puppets and began to design and produce shadow puppets of my own. Mine were not well-known figures in the Javanese puppet pantheon, but characters more commonly known to a Western audience. I learned to create wayang facsimiles, but I had no idea how to manipulate them. To do that, I decided, I would have to study in Indonesia. And so, in 1973, I began to immerse myself in all things Indonesian through courses on Indonesian language, literature, history, and geography. In two years’ time I crammed the equivalent of four years of language study and finally felt ready to go to Indonesia.

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For short, our main feature, the writer's directory, provides a way for writers to find one another, but more importantly, the resources provided make it easy for event hosts—especially for international event hosts—literary organizers, arts administrators, librarians, booksellers, and readers to get in touch with writers. It's a HOME FOR INDONESIAN WRITERS. We strive to break down the language barriers that have prevented Indonesian books or literature from becoming more widespread.

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