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Writing from Indonesia

March 2019

In October 2015, Indonesia made its appearance as the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair—the first country from Southeast Asia to be so honored. Words Without Borders celebrated with our August 2015 issue, which offered work by nine poets and fiction writers. Now, three and half years later, Indonesia heads to London to appear in the same role at the London Book Fair, and we’re marking the occasion by presenting four authors, two of whom will participate in the fair.

Interiors and Interpretations: New Writing from Indonesia
By Susan Harris
The authors here represent a range of genres and topics in settings extending from distant planets to the very center of the earth.
By Clara Ng
And why couldn’t you get Cen to talk while she was asleep, anyway?
Translated from Indonesian by Toni Pollard
By Nirwan Dewanto
When I realize that I am only writing in a national language, it is precisely geography that adds to its meaning.
Translated from Indonesian by George A. Fowler
The Biography of a Newborn Baby
By Raudal Tanjung Banua
But what did a baby have to show for its life?
Translated from Indonesian by Harry Aveling
The Prayer of the Flame that Sparked the Forest Fire
By M Aan Mansyur
Tell the sad stories to the sky.
Translated from Indonesian by John H. McGlynn