Arafat Nur, a prominent Indonesian writer, was born in Medan, North Sumatra, on December 22, 1974. He grew up during the political turmoil and military violence that plagued Aceh between 1976 and 2007.
Nur has written short stories and poetry since he was a teenager. As an adult, Nur was subjected to military violence as a consequence of his controversial newspaper articles. Today, Nur lives in East Java, farming rice and other agricultural products.
Nur is a prolific writer. Aside from numerous widely-published short stories, Nur has four published novels. Lampuki (Serambi, 2011), won the 2010 Jakarta Arts Council Novel Writing Competition and the Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2011. Four years later, his novel Burung Terbang di Kelam Malam (Bentang, 2015) was published and translated into the English language, under the title A Bird Flies in the Dark of Night (Bentang, 2015). Nur established himself as an Indonesian novelist with Tempat Yang Paling Sunyi (Gramedia, 2015). After once again winning the Jakarta Arts Council Novel Writing Competition in 2016 with his novel Tanah Surga Merah (Gramedia, 2017), Nur claims a special place in his readers’ hearts.
While Blood Moon over Aceh, the translation of Lolong Anjing di Bulan (Penerbit Universitas Sanata Dharma, 2018), is based on historical facts and testimonies of witnesses, Nur did not write the novel to judge or dwell on past injustices and misjudgments that led to a thirty-year tragedy. He hopes to spark a desire in his readers to do everything possible to prevent a repeat of the past by unveiling often still-obscure data in his writing. Nur states that experience is a wise and powerful teacher.
Maya Denisa Saputra was born on July 30, 1990, in Denpasar, the capital of Bali, and grew up on Indonesia’s “island of the gods.” She spent a brief time in Singapore to obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance at the UK-based University of Bradford. While holding a position in the accounting department of a family business, she pursues her interests in writing, literary translation, and photography.
Maya’s writings and translation work have appeared in the Buddhist Fellowship Singapore’s newsletter, Connection, an online platform that gathers writings about physical and mental wellness; B.Philosophy and LitSync, online communities of aspiring fiction writers; and InterSastra, a literary translation initiative.
Maya’s translations can also be found in the archives of the Your Stories page of Dalang Publishing’s website. For the Your Stories page, Maya translated: The Golden Shackle / Belenggu Emas / by Iksaka Banu, and Lord, Whose Prayer Will You Listen To? / Gusti, Doa Siapa Yang Akan Kaudengar? by Junaedi Setiyono. This work introduced her to further collaboration with Setiyono and Dalang Publishing that manifested in the translation of Dasamuka (Dalang 2017 – ISBN 978-0-9836273-1-9).
Maya currently lives in Surabaya, East Java, with her husband and can be reached at email@example.com.