From the Editors - Spring 2019

The Asia Literary Review is delighted to present this supplementary issue focused exclusively on Indonesian stories, produced with the assistance of the Lontar Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation based in Jakarta whose primary aim since 1987 has been to promote Indonesian literature and culture through the translation of Indonesian literary works. This volume is being published to coincide with the 2019 London Book Fair (held on 12–14 March) and the selection of Indonesia as the fair’s Market Focus. 


The twelve stories presented in this volume were selected from a compila­tion of stories that John McGlynn of the Lontar Foundation together with local writer Zen Hae curated to highlight works completed in the democratic and liberating era which opened in Indonesia after the fall of President Soeharto in 1998. As a collection, they present a fascinating glimpse into a mind-bendingly complex nation comprised of 17,000 islands and even more numerous perspectives on society and nationhood. The subjects covered in these stories invariably focus on struggle – between tradition and modernity, feminism and patriarchy, religion and secularity, everyday reality and the supernatural. Many of the stories differ from the style of writing that the Asia Literary Review has tended to publish over the years, but their sincerity and uniqueness are true to our mission of uncovering hidden voices from across Asia. As such, these tales provide illuminating and compelling reading about upended lives and a world in flux. 

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