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Perjamuan Khong Guan

Earlier this year, Joko Pinurbo, Indonesia’s much beloved poet, had just released his latest poem collection, Perjamuan Khong Guan. It is divided into four parts (or, cans, in this case), and some numbers may not sound new anymore after their previous appearances in newspapers last year. However, … [Read more...]

“The Wandering” by Intan Paramaditha

The story begins in Jakarta, a hubbub of street vendors, motorbikes, and calls to prayer from mosque loudspeakers. “Travelling is the most ancient desire”, writes Intan Paramaditha in her first novel, a choose-your-own-adventure story published this February as global mobility ground to a halt. The … [Read more...]

“The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida” by Clarissa Goenawan

University student Miwako Sumida has committed suicide and her small group of friends are caught completely off guard, yet determined to search for answers behind her death. Set mainly in Tokyo, Indonesian-born Clarissa Goenawan’s second novel, The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, is a haunting story … [Read more...]

Indonesian literature goes digital with Sandiwara Sastra

The phrase Indonesian literature might bring to mind memories of school assignments and required reading, but a new literary initiative is poised to appeal to the digital crowd. Sandiwara Sastra (Literary Play), a joint collaboration between the Education and Culture Ministry, the Titimangsa … [Read more...]

‘Semen, blood and excrement’: the Indonesian novel that’s like story-telling on acid

Prize-winning author Eka Kurniawan’s latest novel Beauty is a Wound isn’t for the squeamish – but his writing is ‘the real thing’ Prize-winning Indonesian novelist Eka Kurniawan isn’t for the squeamish. Packed with semen, menstrual blood, excrement and urine, his tour-de-force, Beauty is a … [Read more...]