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May 24, 2024

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Nh. Dini


A novelist and feminist. She is the youngest of five children of Saljowidjojo and Kusaminah. One branch of the family can be traced back to the Bugis of South Sulawesi.


Dini says that she began to love writing when she was in the second grade. Her mother was a batik artist, inspired by Javanese culture. She would read stories and poems to Dini that were written in the traditional Javanese alphabet. Her talent for writing fiction was soon confirmed. At the age of fifteen she read her poems on RRI (the state radio network) in Semarang.


In 1956, while working as a flight attendant for Garuda Indonesia Airways, she published a series of stories called Dua Dunia (Two Worlds). She also worked briefly as a radio announcer. In 1960 she married Yves Coffin, French consul to Kobe, Japan. Two children were born of their marriage; Marie-Claire Lintang and Pierre Louis Padang (commonly recognized as Pierre Coffin). As the wife of a diplomat, she went with her husband to Japan and then to Phnom Penh. She arrived in France in 1966. Later, they moved to Manila. In 1976, they moved to Detroit.


In 2003, Dini received the SEA Write Award from the government of Thailand, followed by the Francophonie Award in 2008 and the Achmad Bakrie Award for literature in 2011. In 2017, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) committee.


Following her 1984 separation from her husband Yves Coffin, whom she had married in Kobe, Japan in 1960, Dini returned to Indonesia, reclaimed her Indonesian citizenship and resided in Kampung Sekayu, Semarang, where she built Pondok Baca NH Dini (NH Dini’s Reading Hut).


Having built a career as a writer for 60 years, Dini only received royalties from her works for the past three years. At the time of her death she was living in an old-age home called Panti Wredha Langen Wedharsih in Ungaran, Semarang regency. Dini still actively participated in literary events, academic activities, thesis-guiding and speaking in seminars until her final days.


NH Dini passed away on Dec. 4 following a car crash. She was 82 years old. The literary icon was survived by her two children, Marie-Claire Lintang and Pierre Louis Padang.


In the Headlines

NH Dini’s 84th Birthday

Google Doodles / What Media Says
Feb 29, 2020

Obituary: NH Dini, Indonesian feminist literary figure

Jakarta Post / What Media Says
Dec 05, 2018

Author NH Dini dies following car crash in Semarang

Jakarta Post / What Media Says
Dec 04, 2018

NH Dini and her endless soul-searching journey

Jakarta Post / What Media Says
Nov 27, 2017

Literary festival shines light on living legend Nh. Dini

Jakarta Post / What Media Says
Oct 28, 2017

Indonesian literature stars in the making

Jakarta Post / As Seen On
Oct 18, 2015

World meet Indonesian literature at the Buchmesse

Il manifesto / As Seen On
Oct 15, 2015


Indonesia Institute Blog / As Seen On
Jul 18, 2015

Worlds-Within-Worlds: A Testimonial

Asymptote / What Media Says
Jan 19, 2015


Asymptote / What Media Says
Jan 01, 2015

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