Oct 20, 2020 Last Updated 12:24 AM, Oct 16, 2020

Fiction & Essays

In Memoriam & Ten weeks in Bali, Java, Singapore and Sumatra, December 1981 - March 1982

Many older readers of Inside Indonesia will remember John Barnard, who died earlier this year in Melbourne after a brief illness. John, who worked as a technician in the science laboratory at Monash University, was a regular attendee at the regular Centre for Southeast Asian Studies seminars where he loved to meet up with old friends and make new ones. A shy retiring person and a bachelor all his life, visiting Indonesia was always a significant annual event for him as his travel diary clearly shows. 

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Review: Man Tiger strikes!

Man Tiger Cover Image

Longlisted for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize Eka Kurniawan’s novel signals the birth of a sophisticated crime noir genre in Indonesian literature

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The Crocodile Hole

Indonesia, beginning of the 1980s. The young journalist Tommy comes into contact with the survivors of the genocide that the New Order regime of General Suharto carried out. To her bewilderment she hears stories about lurid dancing, castrations and the murder by young girls of a number of generals in the night of October 1 1965.  Guided by Ibu Sri, herself a former prisoner and a member of the women’s organisation that was held responsible for these alleged sexual and sadistic perversions she sets herself the task to unravel these fantasies.  Who invented these hateful lies which were meant to incite mass organizations to murder possibly one million of their neighbors?  Tommy is betrayed and thrown into prison. 

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Freedom

Putu Wijaya.   Image courtesy of Lontar Publishing

Arguably Indonesia's finest living writer of fiction, Putu Wijaya reflects on Indonesia's nationhood in his short story, 'Freedom'.

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What are your true colours?: A conversation

A brief conversation between strangers provokes thoughts on Australia–Indonesia relations

Essays and Fiction is a new series of writing in Inside Indonesia that aims to give voice to more personal stories about Indonesia. We welcome submissions in the form of reflective pieces, fiction, artwork, or essays about travel and fieldwork experiences.
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Putu gives God a hand

Putu gives God a hand

Recipient of the 2014 Khatulistiwa prize for poetry, Oka Rusmini's award-winning short story 'Putu Gives God a Hand' is a sharply witty critique of Balinese culture

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Chinese whispers: The art of reflection

Chinese whispers: The art of reflection

Essays and Fiction is a new series of writing in Inside Indonesia that aims to give voice to more personal stories about Indonesia. We welcome submissions in the form of reflective pieces, fiction, artwork, or essays about travel and fieldwork experiences.

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Morphology of desire

Morphology of Desire

We are very pleased to present the first offering in our new series celebrating Indonesian literature, launched in partnership with the Lontar Modern Indonesia Library. In 2015, Indonesia will be the 'Guest of Honour' at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Inside Indonesia joins in this festival of modern Indonesian literature, offering examples of writing from the finest established authors to new and emerging talent. Selamat membaca!

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Review Essay: Banishment and belonging

Oct 02, 2020 - RON WITTON

Japanese and Malay Pearl Divers / State Library of Western Australia

Essay: Seeking solace in the midst of COVID-19

Sep 25, 2020 - SEBASTIAN PARTOGI

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak the book club has hosted weekly virtual meetings/ Baca Rasa Dengar

Book clubs and creative communities have headed online where they provide Jakartans with vital connections and solace during the pandemic

A 150-year old obstacle to land rights 

Sep 18, 2020 - AHMAD DHIAULHAQ & WARD BERENSCHOT

Protestors calling for land reform, Jakarta, September 2019 / Dhemas Reviyanto / ANTARA FOTO

The Dutch colonialists adopted the concept of domein verklaring (domain declaration) to claim control over a large part of Indonesia’s land. This act lives on in modern-day Indonesia, causing conflict...

Thoughts for Lance Castles

Sep 14, 2020 - ANTHONY REID

Lance Castles, painted by Yasin Tiar in 1999

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A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar