Leila S. Chudori: Weaving family drama into political saga

All Things Books / Interview

About The Sea Speaks His Name,
Written by Sebastian Partogi, and was originally published in Jakarta Post,
Jun 28, 2020

Winning the 2020 Southeast Asian Writers Award for her novel Laut Bercerita (The Sea Speaks his Name), did not bring peace of mind for author and journalist Leila S. Chudori. The novel, published in December 2017 and inspired by real events, tells the story of activists who were kidnapped, tortured and forcibly disappeared during the 1998 protests leading to the downfall of the totalitarian New Order regime, as well as the aftermath for the activists’ families. The English version of Leila’s novel, translated by John H. McGlynn, was published by Penguin Random House SEA in February 2020. It has also been adapted into a 30-minute eponymous short film by director Pritagita Arianegara, starring Reza Rahadian and Dian Sastrowardoyo, among others.

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