Works (Originally in English)

A collection of works originally published in English.

Mar 05, 2018

Two new poems by Mikael Johani

by Mikael Johani
The Johannesburg Review of Books presents previously unpublished poetry by Mikael Johani: chapel hill and canto cxviii (i forget most everything).
Jan 07, 2018


by Dias Novita Wuri
18 December, 2038 CASE HISTORY Identifying Information: NN, 19 year old man of Australian-Caucasian ethnicity, is one of the early-generation clones, a perfectly identical copy of his deceased brother (also bore the same name), who died in 2018 at the age of 20 due to an incurable heart defect. Now lives in Borneo (then Indonesia) with his parents, and is in his third year in the University of Indo-Australia, New Meikarta (then Palangkaraya).
Jan 06, 2018

Churning Waters

by Madina Malahayati Chumaera
jakarta is silent like no other – the ghost of honking cars and scorching heat haunting its horizon, as if the city is saying: it was not supposed to be like this. the water crashing against skyscrapers and concrete isn't a welcome soundscape. wulandari steps out of the paraheli with a grace that can only be derived from frailness. she’s trying, honestly – but she knows she’s failing. to be stronger in that grace, to keep her head high and walk to the edge of the viewing platform without a trace of pain in her features – for the cameras around her; for this wretched, lovely city; and for herself. she looks out to this city that she tried her best to save – but seeing the destruction, even amongst the new and glittering structure built on top of its deceivingly calm waters, just breaks her chest even more.
Jan 05, 2018

Heels of Apocalyptic End

by Ziggy Zezsyazeo viennazabrizkie
“I was born here.” “In this city?” “In this city,” she nodded. I liked how her hair moved when she nodded. It’s like a black cascade. I cut it once in a while, and she let me keep the scraps in a tin box. In return, I brought candles; three at a time. She likes real things. Real person. Real fire. Real legs. She’s holding them now, the candles. Close to her breasts, like a mother and her new-born. “Is this still the capital?” she asked. Waiting no affirmation, her face contorted in dazzled frown. “How do they even function as capital?”
Jan 03, 2018


by Mikael Johani
FUCK. The sun is fucking blinding. Why did I forget to close the fucking cover? The rats in Kampung Bali are fucking THICC! Why am I speaking in retroslang? ZZZZZ. I can’t go back to sleep now. Have to get out of this dumpster. Was good though this one, the vegies were fresh, didn’t smell too bad. The hydrolettuces were fat and juicy, I could hear ‘em melt from the heat of my own body last night. I’ve got to do it today, yeh, gotta set my priority straight meng. Gotta join LA Résistongs. Buswit was zapped last week. Yusi two days ago. Maes just yesterday. They’re coming for me. BRAM**. BRAM is coming for me. Fuck him. Fuck this dumpster life. Ah yeah, at least that was a good dump. That public toilet has always been good to me. I like that bitch who mans it. (((The bitch who mans it))) HAHA! She’s so beautiful I could fuck her right now. But not now. She’s too stupid. I’m not gonna get anything out of her. Probably just how many people pay her the 5 million*** Giramondos to use the fucking toilet so far today, how many yesterday, the day before that, blablabla. She also cooks for that Indomie warung around the corner, maybe she also has memories of who orders what flavour which order comes with chopped rawit on the side.
Dec 07, 2017

Cepuk Flies Everywhere

by Debby Lukito Goeyardi
Can a book take you to fly far into the land of mystery? Of course, it can! And that’s what happened to me. It all started with the suggestion of a favorite editor for me to audition for the author of a children’s book organized by Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia (YLAI) for a joint project with Room to Read. I was not confident! At that time, I was just an article writer in various media and never once wrote a story for children, let alone a book! However, there is no harm in trying. And then I sent a short script. However, I received no news for several weeks ….
Oct 25, 2017

I fell in love with Norwich once I stepped on its roads

by Debby Lukito Goeyardi
Debby Lukito Goeyardi is a writer of children’s and teen literature from Indonesia. She recenly visited Norwich with Avianti Armand and Nuril Basri for a week-long residency funded by the Indonesian Book Committee. I fell in love with Norwich once I stepped on its roads and breathed its fresh and pure air. I fell in love with the warmth of the people once they greeted me. I met many lovely persons whom I will hold in my heart dearly, such as Kate Griffin, Sophie Scott-Brown, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Angel Igov, Isabelle King as well as Fairless who is indeed a very talented guitarist!
Sep 04, 2017

Short Story: Wrong number

by Anton Kurnia
The phone rings. Matari picks it up. “Hello, this is 250-0998.” “Sorry, wrong number,” says a woman on the other end, softly. Matari puts the phone down and returns to his book. He has read it seven times. Not because he loves it, but because it is the only book he owns. Its last page is missing. Maybe somebody had torn it out.
Aug 29, 2017

Why using English doesn’t make me any less Indonesian

by Marcella Purnama
I was 12 when I read my first Harry Potter book. I had just finished watching the Prisoner of Azkaban and I couldn’t wait to know what would happen next. So I bought the Indonesian translation of ...
Aug 07, 2017

Money for your English

by Khairani Barokka
“if you do not speak english, you may not be able to survive it is sink or swim.” in sixth grade, i stood under a boil of a sun at our school assembly, speaker warning ...