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Laksmi Pamuntjak

Portrait of Laksmi Pamuntjak

Laksmi Pamuntjak

Laksmi Pamuntjak is an award-winning Indonesian novelist, poet, journalist, food critic, and literary art curator. Her bestselling debut novel, Amba: The Question of Red (Gramedia, 2013), was shortlisted for Indonesia’s 2012 Khatulistiwa Literary Award....

It has been translated into English, Dutch, and German, and won Germany’s LiBeraturpreis.

The award-winning movie adaptation of her bestselling second novel, Aruna dan Lidahnya (Gramedia, 2014; translated by Tiffany Tsao as The Birdwoman’s Palate, Amazon Crossing, 2018), can be viewed on Netflix. Laksmi is also the author of the award-winning Jakarta Good Food Guide series, Indonesia’s first independent food guide (Pena Klasik, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2010). Pamuntjak’s first English novel, Fall Baby (Penguin Random House SEA, 2019) won the 2020 Singapore Book Award for Best Literary Work and has been translated into Indonesian and German.

Pamuntjak is also the author of three collections of poetry: Ellipsis (2005, which appeared in the 2005 Herald UK Books of the Year pages); The Anagram (2007); and There are Tears in Things (2016), a treatise on the relationship between man and violence based on the Iliad entitled Perang, Langit dan Dua Perempuan (War, Heaven and Two Women, 2006); a collection of short stories based on paintings entitled The Diary of R.S.: Musings on Art (2006); and two translations of the works of Indonesian poet and essayist Goenawan Mohamad (2007, 2004).

Her poetry and fiction have been published in international literary journals including Critical Muslim, Asymptote, Asia Literary Review, Takahe (NZ), and Heat (Australia). She has also written on culture and politics for the Jakarta Post, South China Morning Post, Die Welt, Kulturaustausch, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Guardian.

She currently lives in Jakarta and is the co-founder of Askara Bookstore.

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Articles by Laksmi Pamuntjak

A dark kitchen table and chairs seen through a doorway with a single light above them
Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash