On 19 February 2021, Balai Bahasa Indonesia (BBI) members, as part of its series of ‘malam sastra’ (literary evenings) on Indonesian literature, discussed Dewi Anggraeni’s novel Membongkar Yang Terkubur. BBI was very privileged to have Ibu Dewi Anggraeni speak at this ‘malam sastra’ to discuss her book with its members. Ibu Dewi shared with members her motivation for writing for this novel. She wanted to write a story about ‘Tionghoa peranakan’ (Chinese Indonesians) spanning a longer period of history over several generations of one, ordinary family. She explained the novel’s story is also an exploration of her own identity as a ‘Tionghoa peranakan’, an identity which lies deep within the sub-conscious. Ibu Dewi generously answered a range of questions from members about the novel ranging from the language chosen (bahasa Indonesia) to characterisation to choice of publisher. This literary evening marks a successful start to the series and BBI is very grateful to Ibu Dewi for travelling to Canberra to share her thoughts about this important novel.
The next malam sastra will be held in May 2021 to discuss Herry Gendut Janarto’s book Yogya Yogya.