Pulang's author reflects on writing the stories of those unseen and unheard
Leila S. Chudori’s novel Pulang is an important addition to a growing literature examining the events of 1965-66 and its aftermath
This short story, written by an ex-political prisoner, has never been published in its original Indonesian version. We cannot disclose the author's real name or the various pseudonyms under which she has been publishing since her release.
A member of Gerwani, a women's organisation with alleged connections with the Indonesian Communist Party, banned since the so-called coup of September 1965, the author seems to have started writing fiction only after her detention. The experience colours much of her writing.
Most of her short stories are about the down and out, the women whom poverty has driven to theft, begging and prostitution, the 'criminals' (or were they the victims?) with whom the author shared her prison cells.
A new publication tells the story of the first graduates of the joint Indonesian Armed Forces Military Academy
Editor’s note: For Indonesia-watchers the activities of the military and its leaders remain largely opaque and perhaps even menacing. In recent years the steady stream of memoirs and biographies by and about military leaders has, in some cases, assuaged some of this mystery and in others, added to the intrigue. As the public and judicial gaze has increasingly turned to the actions of military leaders with connections to the New Order, the memoir has been engaged by some as a form of testimony in an effort to ‘clear their name’. Whatever the motivation, with each new addition to this genre, we are offered new insights into the fractious and often treacherous ‘interior’ world of the Indonesian Armed Forces.