By UK/Indonesia 2016-18 team

01 November 2018 - 15:07

We spent the day at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2018 speaking to Indonesian and UK authors.

We've created a list of five Indonesian authors you should be reading now based on their recommendations.

1. Sapardi Djoko Damono

An Indonesian poet known for lyrical poems, he is widely regarded as the pioneer of lyrical poetry in Indonesia. Sapardi Djoko Damono received a lifetime’s achievement award this year at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

2. Nuril Basri

Basri has just got back from a residency programme in the UK. His novel 'Not a Virgin' is set between an Islamic boarding school and a gay bar in Jakarta. It’s a kind of coming of age novel of young people discovering their sexual and spiritual identities in this day and age.

3. Pramoedya Ananta Toer

He wrote his four-part series known as the Buru Quartet in prison, on the island of Buru where accused communists were imprisoned in the 1960s and 70s by the Suharto regime. He recited the story orally to other prisoners before it was written down and smuggled out of the prison.

4. Gratiagusti Chananya Rompas

Rompas' book 'Familiar Messes and other essays' explores how mental health affects her life in Indonesia and how she navigates this in the capital city of Jakarta.

5. Eka Kurniawan

Eka Kurniawan's works are translated into more than 24 languages. His novel, 'Beauty is a Wound', was included in the list of 100 notable books by The New York Times. He is known for his Magic Realism.

And of course, make sure you take a look at the twelve Indonesian authors who will be heading to London to represent Indonesian literature at The London Book Fair in March 2019!