The purchase of the Indonesian translation and publishing rights of Only a Girl (originally released by Publish America, 2009, and later by Dalang Publishing in 2011) by PT Gamedia Pustaka Utama in April 2010 brought me home in October of the same year.
While on a book tour across Java to launch the translation of Only a Girl as Menantang Phoenix (PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2010 ISBN: 978-979-22-6233-9), I was stunned by the infiltration of English into the Indonesian language. The use of English on billboards as well as book covers and newspaper headlines showed that the wellbeing of the Indonesian language was at serious risk. I returned to America with a deep concern for Bahasa Indonesia.
Dalang Publishing is an expression of my desire to contribute to a change for the better in the landscape of Indonesian literature. With the hope to rekindle the fire of unity and pride of Indonesia during the early days of independence, I reach out to my fellow Indonesian writers and publishers, as well as those in leading positions in education and the media. Let us protect and honor our language by careful, unadulterated use.
Gemah Rahardjo brings to Dalang a deep sense of nationalism and love for the arts, as well as his experience as a freelance journalist in Indonesia. With the founding of Dalang Publishing, it is our intent to obtain nonprofit status and create a scholarship for deprived Indonesian youth.
We hope you will use Dalang Publishing as a vehicle to spread the history, culture, and beauty of Indonesia through writing.
Lian Gouw, publisher