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Anna and Her Daughter’s Partner

Works in Translation

Laksmi Pamuntjak, translated by Annie Tucker
Published in Words Without Borders, May 02, 2023

First published in Kitab Kawin as Anna dan Partner Anaknya.

A neglected wife and mother has an unexpected reaction to her daughter’s partner in this story by Indonesian writer Laksmi Pamuntjak. — You’d better not think just because we’re married and middle-aged we’ve stopped fantasizing about other men. That’s what your friends say, and to fit in you laugh casually. But in truth you never fantasize about anyone, including your own husband, nor about sex of any kind—not revenge sex, kinky sex, or casual sex just to feel a warm body and pass the time. You only think about three things. One: Money (that you don’t have). Two: Your only child (who’s already married and lives abroad). Three: Your body and your brain (both growing more exhausted with every passing day). Sometimes you think about your friend Dina. On her fiftieth birthday, Dina went all out on a ladies’ night. The guest star was Jojo Sifredi, a male stripper popular among young, rich housewives with too much free time. “Jojo is extra special,” Dina had said, “because he’s real.” “Real? What does that even mean?” “He’s our age, he’s mature, not some stupid hot young guy.” “Surely not all young hot guys are stupid?” “And have you ever even been with one?”

Read the full story here.

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