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My Broken English Isn’t an Excuse for Your Disrespect

Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of the hotly anticipated murder rom-com Dial A for Aunties, explains the power of using broken languages in her novels. have a confession to make: I prefer writing in present tense because I don’t really know my tenses. I did learn English when I moved to Singapore at the … [Read more...]

My Mother’s Pain

In my Chinese Indonesian family, massage has been the sole consistent method to work through pain, to recover our sense of choice. My massage training began when I was 4 years old. On Sundays after church, my father would lie belly-down, head hanging off the side of the bed, while my mother … [Read more...]

Hurt and Words: On Language and Pain in Public

This blog post is part of issue 125 of Feminist Review, which explores theories of the archive within feminist, queer, crip, decolonial, and diasporic studies. The issue, which brings academics, artists, and archivists into conversation with each other, launched in July 2020. Blog posts in this … [Read more...]

Why Are Indonesians Being Erased from Indonesian Literature?

What we lose when Indonesian writing is evaluated according to Anglophone preferences. When I entered the world of Indonesian literary translation several years ago, I was blissfully unaware of how dysfunctional it was. (Nor did I suspect that I would eventually become so troubled by its … [Read more...]

Books That Changed Me: Intan Paramaditha

Intan Paramaditha is the author of Apple and Knife, a collection of dark stories about disobedient women. Her first novel, The Wandering, won a PEN Translates Award and is published by Harvill Secker. Frankenstein Mary Shelley   I found Frankenstein at the British Council library in … [Read more...]