Events offer insight into Indonesian writing

July 11, 2013

Murdoch staff and students are invited to gain an insight into the richness of Indonesian writing at a pair of literary events on Wednesday, July 17.

Internationally acclaimed novelist and journalist Leila Chudori will read and discuss her work in conversation with Murdoch’s Chair of Southeast Asian Studies Professor David Hill.

The pair will look at her career and delve into her most recent novel, Pulang (Home), based on the lives of four Indonesian journalists exiled in Paris following the 1965 Suharto anti-communist purge.

Pulang took six years of research and became an instant bestseller in Indonesia with three reprints within its first three months.

“Leila Chudori is an exceptional figure in the Indonesian literary scene and a bold storyteller. Her work doesn’t shy away from strong themes, such as the tackling authoritarianism, chauvinism and the hypocrisy of public morality,” Professor Hill said.

“As a senior editor with Tempo – Indonesia’s equivalent to Time magazine – she brings the keen eye of a political journalist to her exceptional abilities as a novelist and award-winning drama writer.”

Professor Hill said Ms Chudori was an excellent representative of the robust literary scene in Indonesia, and encouraged readers, those involved in writing and literature and anyone interested in Indonesian culture not to miss her appearance.

Professor Hill also invited staff and students to hear John McGlynn, founder and editor of the Lontar Foundation in Jakarta, who will talk about his group’s ongoing translation of all the major works of Indonesian modern literature into English.

“John McGlynn’s knowledge of Indonesian literature is encyclopaedic and few, if any, foreigners have contributed so much to its international promotion and success,” David said.

John McGlynn will be presenting an Asia Research Centre seminar at 12.30pm in the Senate Conference Room. All are welcome and there is no need to RSVP.

Leila Chudori’s event will take place from 5.30 to 7pm in EH2.021. RSVPs are essential, so to book a place, please email

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