Solving the mystery behind a Chinese Indonesian writer’s forgotten account of the final years of Dutch colonial rule through Indonesia’s armed revolution
‘When the Japanese were in power, I realized that the Dutch East Indies with all of its aristocratic ways, was finished. I must have the guts to say goodbye to it. And whatever fate befalls me, I will remain here.’
The Indonesian fiction writer Intan Paramaditha on the political potential of horror and writing as a feminist practice
‘In this way, people kept talking about her, and she continued to come to family gatherings. In the eyes of my relatives, she remained a problem that refused to be simplified.’
‘But what has happened in our era? If just one vocal daring woman steps forth and speaks of the inequalities of the age and criticizes the establishment, especially those who hold authority, then she is immediately muzzled!’
‘For me, who grew up and became an adult during the New Order period, I was conscious of a historical and political absurdity. I began to feel that there were some Indonesians who had become invisible.’
‘Where was Mas Han? What was he running from? And why hadn’t he called or tried to get in contact with me? These were my questions, those of a wife, a woman, who had no idea how what had happened would affect the fate of the Indonesian people.’
What does it mean to be a guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair? John McGlynn talks about the Lontar Foundation’s role in bringing Indonesian literature to the world and his own path from puppet maker to translator.