Media Clippings

A compilation of every mention of Indonesian writers, written on English/foreign-language media. See also What Media Say.

UWRF to ponder consequences of human actions

Oct 14, 2019 / Jakarta Post by Sebastian Partogi
More than 100 authors, activists and journalists from 30 countries will gather at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) in Bali from Oct. 23 to 27 to share their stories and ideas on karma. Karma — the theme of this year’s UWRF — is derived from the Balinese Hindus’ spiritual principle of karma phala, where each action has a consequence equal in force, and similar in form. UWRF, one of the most prominent literary events in the world, will feature 180 speakers this year. True to its trademark as a platform for multidisciplinary contemporary dialog, the festival will showcase not just authors but also activists, chefs, fashion designers and performing artists. They will excange ideas along with participants and guests across 170 programs during the four-day festival. 

Jakarta’s literary festival to highlight Southern identity

Jul 30, 2019 / Jakarta Post by Josa Lukman
Authors from Asia and Africa are to take center stage at the first-ever Jakarta International Literary Festival (JILF), which runs from Aug. 20 to 24. The literary festival, which is to take place at the Taman Ismail Marzuki arts center in Central Jakarta, was initiated by the Literary Committee of the Jakarta Arts Council. Committee chairman Yusi Avianto Pareanom said that although the concept of a literary festival is not a new thing for Jakarta, the Literary Committee never organized its own festival until it conceived of JILF.

5 Indonesian Writers You Should be Reading

Mar 27, 2019 / Books and Bao by Will Heath
All eyes are trained on Indonesia right now. Its tourism is flourishing more than ever; foreigners from the West are flooding there to work and live cheaply and healthily (for better or worse), and its art scene is finally being celebrated the world over. Some of the biggest names in poetry, prose, and essays all hail from Indonesia, and if you want to keep up-to-date with some of that wonderful literature from far-off shores in 2019, here are five very special Indonesian writers to get you started.

Five Indonesian authors you should read (or: Intan Paramaditha on the inescable politics of lists)

Mar 08, 2019 / Literary Hub by Intan Paramaditha
Making a list is by necessity a practice of exclusion. As someone who has been both privileged and overlooked by such practice, I have an ambivalent relationship with lists. And as an Indonesian woman writer in a field dominated by (heterosexual) men, I have worked with a number of feminist activists to propose counter-lists. Yet here is the contradiction: even though we are aware that any list reflects the biases and politics of selection and representation, we still expect a kind of mainstream list when we start exploring new territory. Indonesia is the Market Focus Country for the London Book Fair this year (March 12-14, 2019), and twelve authors have been invited to participate in various events at LBF and other parts of the UK. I am honored to have been selected, but I am also confronted with my own privilege; my translated short story collection just came out in the UK, and next year my debut novel will be published in the UK as well. I am still struggling with representation, but I have behind me my agent and publishers in three different countries, a luxury that the majority of Indonesian authors do not have. It is clear that the richness of Indonesian literature cannot be reduced to twelve authors, and we need to keep looking beyond the list.

The increasing global visibility of Indonesian authors

Mar 06, 2019 / Jakarta Post by Evie Breese
For nearly four years since Indonesia attended the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair as a guest of honor, Indonesian literature has been going through an exciting period in terms of global recognition. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest marketplace for printed and digital content. Its CEO, Juergen Boos, and his colleague, the vice president of business development for Southeast Asia, Claudia Kaiser, recently spoke to The Jakarta Post about how the landscape has changed for literature.

‘London welcomes Indonesia’: 2019 London Book Fair marks 70 years of Indonesia-UK bilateral relations

Mar 05, 2019 / Jakarta Post by Devina Heriyanto
Indonesia’s participation as the Market Focus Country for the 2019 London Book Fair is a timely celebration of 70 years of bilateral relations between Indonesia and the United Kingdom, according to UK Ambassador to Indonesia Moazzam Malik. “The London Book Fair is a great opportunity for Indonesia to go global,” said Malik at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “It is without doubt that Indonesia will play a big role in the global stage. What is more important is for the world to know about Indonesia and its roles,” he added.

7 Female Authors Taking Indonesian Literature Worldwide

Mar 05, 2019 / Culture Trip, The by Matthew Janney
London is bracing itself for a cultural takeover, with Indonesian literature set to be centre stage at the 2019 London Book Fair. Culture Trip highlights the seven female authors who – alongside a series of literary, gastronomic and cultural events – will be showcasing all that Indonesian culture has to offer. Seven out of the 12 writers on Indonesia’s cultural programme at the 2019 London Book Fair in March are women. Among them are award-winning novelists, political commentators, children’s authors, screenwriters and musicians, highlighting the variety of voices shaping the country’s literature. To celebrate the coinciding of International Women’s Day with the book fair, Culture Trip asked each writer about her favourite childhood reads, literary inspirations and writerly heroes.

The Problem With Promoting Indonesian Literature Abroad?: A Simplistic White Gaze

Mar 05, 2019 / Jakarta Globe by Theodora Sarah Abigail
Many foreigners hold a mental image of a primitive Indonesia that is full of slums and dirty rivers and piles of garbage. They imagine, at best, the bamboo huts, the rice paddies and pastoral scenes. The Indonesia filtered, then presented by foreign translators and well-meaning international organizations has been selected to compound this image of a provincial country, one fragranced with nose-biting spices and jasmine blooms. But Indonesian writers tell a more expansive story. In their books, Indonesia is rich with bustling, vibrant cities, glass airports, museums full of art. The cities burst with becak and kopaja and buses and trains; every minute a plane leaves an airport. People fall in love in a grand mall, fall to their knees in a mosque; they fall out of love in a coffee shop. Families dance until night falls, and the people are not so different from you and I.

Where are all the Indonesian writers?

Feb 22, 2019 / National Centre for Writing by Pamela Allen
While it is now generally unfashionable to speak of a literary “canon,” when a translator comes to selecting works for translation into another language, that process inevitably involves making judgements about what is good literature and writing, which often then leads to the kind of ranking that is the basis of canon-making. It is a process that was faced by Lontar, the Jakarta-based foundation and publishing house, when, in the Modern Library of Indonesia project headed up by John McGlynn, it set itself the goal of both “preserving nearly-forgotten classics of Indonesian literature” and presenting them, often for the first time in English, to an international audience. Books in the Library range from titles such as the 1922 classic Sitti Nurbaya by Marah Rusli (trans. by George A. Fowler), a powerful depiction of the tension between tradition and modernity in the East Indies, to Leila S. Chudori’s 2012 novel Home (trans. by John McGlynn), a story about the tragedy of political exiles during Suharto’s regime (1965-1998) who were forced out of Indonesia after the 1965 massacre of presumed leftists and sympathisers.

PEN Translates autumn 2018 awards announced

Dec 18, 2018 / English PEN by Theodora Danek
A diverse list of books make up the latest round of PEN Translates award winners. These include new novels by László Krasznahorkai and Marie Darrieussecq; the debut short story collection by politician Selahattin Demirtaş, currently imprisoned in Turkey; a memoir by legendary Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman; Spanish poetry for children; as well as novels from Bosnia, the Comoros Islands, and Indonesia.