What Media Says

May 20, 2021

An inspiring Indonesian woman writer: S. Rukiah

The current British Library exhibition, Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights (until 1 August 2021), documenting feminist activism in the UK in historical context, is accompanied by a wide-ranging programme of talks and articles exploring the complex history of women’s rights across the world. A recent blog post focussed on Inspiring women writers of Laos; this blog highlights another inspiring female writer from Southeast Asia, S. Rukiah (1927-1996). The proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945 towards the end of World War Two heralded another five years of armed conflict within the country: between Indonesian nationalists and the returning Dutch colonial power, but also between left- and right-leaning factions of Indonesia’s nascent military force. The period also ushered in a host of new literary voices. One Indonesian writer who came of age during this time, and whose writings were shaped by the pressures and anguishes of the Revolution, was S. Rukiah, whose 1950 novel Kejatuhan dan Hati (‘The Fall and the Heart’), is probably the most important early Indonesian novel by a female writer.

May 15, 2021 Meet 13 Asian and Asian Diasporic Nature and Environment Writers
May 13, 2021 How Powerful Poet Giovanna Lomanto Tackles Identity, Grief, a Bruised Heart in New Work

All Things Books

Jun 28, 2021

Saman by Ayu Utami

In the ten years since I set out to read the world, I have interacted with thousands of book lovers, writers, academics and curious readers around the globe. Many of the most illuminating of these discussions have been with translators – people who, by virtue of having expertise in two or more languages and extensive experience working on texts, are able to shed light on how books travel and what comes into English, and often draw my attention to gems that would otherwise pass me by.

May 12, 2021 A Clear Dawn: The voices breaking into New Zealand literature
May 10, 2021 Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

What's New

Jul 23, 2021

Good News for Literature Lovers

The long-awaited Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) returns for its 18th year, from 8–17 October 2021. The Festival moves forward with the theme, Mulat Sarira, interpreted in English as Self-Reflection. The Festival will explore self-reflection, cultural introspection, and human rights: examining who we are, what unites and divides us, and what drives our actions.

May 31, 2021

Book piracy: Cash-strapped and hungry for knowledge, or simply fraud?

Finding pirated versions of books in Indonesia is easy. From kiosks and outlets in shopping centers to a variety of e-commerce platforms that host vendors carrying the illicit goods, those looking can find cheap versions of practically any title, old and new, foreign or Indonesia. From obvious photocopies to black-and-white scanned prints, and to high-quality reproductions, pirated books come in many shapes and forms to fit every budget.

Mar 25, 2021

Claire Albrecht Reviews Jennifer Mackenzie’s Navigable Ink

It is difficult to completely reconcile with a book that, while centralising Indonesian culture and history, is written by a white outsider. Jennifer Mackenzie is certainly a well-informed, respectful and respected outsider, but an outsider nonetheless. The book reads as a response, or creative criticism, or homage to Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s work and life. Taken as such, Mackenzie can be forgiven for some of the insertion into a narrative that is not her own. She is a wrangling with an enormous literary, political and cultural history that is still alive and volatile, despite her focus on Indonesian history up to the end of the twentieth century. Mackenzie’s choice to approach this through the medium of poetry is unproblematic on its own, but where the poems verge into the lyric and take the narratorial I, they begin to claim Toer’s (and Indonesia’s) history as their own, and the waters muddy.


July 4, 2015

Erni Aladjai: Wandering Kei

“After my writings were published in Femina, the road of being a writer has been a smooth one. It was the first time my writing got published in a print media from Jakarta.” One month ...

February 22, 2015 Okky Madasari: When Luck Is Not Enough


January 10, 2021

New Year, New Logo

IDWRITERS gets a new logo—reclaim its mission through a new look, tone, and feel. We’re making our logo the two-tone black-and-red design; aimings get new passion and authority: cleaner, simpler, and more professional. That redundant ...

January 1, 2019

[UPDATED] 2018’s Noteworthy Moments

To close the year of 2018, we took the initiative to reconcile hundred of noteworthy moments that took place throughout the year—we have already documented many of them, and now serve it as a “kaleidoscope” ...