Pasola Book Launch


On Friday, May 10, 2024, we launched Pasola, our latest publication via a zoom event which was hosted by the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco. The launch was preceded by a Selamatan, the traditional Indonesian way to ask for blessings. The food for the Selamatan was prepared and served by Gemah Rahardjo, Dalang’s partner, at Wisma Indonesia to the Consul General of Indonesia for San Francisco, the honorable Prasetyo Hadi and his wife as well as a few staff members of the consulate.

You can find a recording of the Selamatan at: Pasola’s Selamatan

Maria Matildis Banda, the author of Pasola, is a seasoned writer known for her writing with a Nusa Tenggara background and a narrative set in its culture. In 2015 she acquired her doctorate in cultural studies at the Udayana University on the island of Bali where she currently teaches fiction writing. Banda has written short stories since 1981 and has written fourteen novels.

Yuni Utami Asih, the English language translator of Pasola, has taught English at the Mulawarman University in East Kalimantan since 2005. She acquired her doctorate in English language teaching in 2016 from the State University of Surabaya on the island of Java.

Pasola is Asih’s first literary translation. Given the fact that the novel has rich nature descriptions as well as an intricate characterization structure, the translation tested Asih’s strong, as well as sensitive language skills.

You can find a recording of our launch which includes an interview with the author as well as the translator via: Pasola’s Launch

Pasola’s translation is available on Dalang’s website, as well as online and brick and mortar bookstores.

The original is available at: Toko Buku Baca Sastra


Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary

From Sabang to Merauke

As a part of our 10-year anniversary celebration and the launch of our bilingual compilation of short stories, Footprints / Tapak Tilas, Dalang Publishing held a series of events, From Sabang to Merauke / Dari Sabang ke Merauke, between January 18 and June 10, 2023.

During this time, Dalang and a participating university hosted a “literary conversation” in each of Indonesia’s six regions. Our goal was to use modern technology to visit each area with a story of their locality chosen from Footprints /Tapak Tilas, as a conversation starting point. We then engaged in a discussion among the author, translator, and area-specific audiences.

Our intent was to inspire local writers to submit their unpublished work. The six teleconferences are recorded on YouTube, and we invite you to join us by clicking on the links below:



We’d like to thank all participants for their contributions to the event – in particular the representatives of the universities, Dalang’s authors and translators, and Martin Nuh Hanan for editing our videos.

Indonesian Bazaar in San Francisco

A generous invitation from the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco enabled Dalang Publishing to participate in the 2nd Annual Indonesian Bazaar held by Friends of Indonesia on May 20, 2023, in the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, San Francisco. The event showcased Indonesian handcrafts, dance, and food.

We proudly presented our 12 titles, including our 10th anniversary publication, Footprints / Tapak Tilas, a bilingual short-story compilation that takes readers on a historical and cultural journey across Indonesia. Footprints / Tapak Tilas offers 49 short stories, comprising the work of 44 authors and 18 translators all previously published on Dalang’s website.

We were honored by a visit from Bapak Prasetyo Hadi, the Consul General of Indonesia for San Francisco, and his wife, Ibu Ota, as well as Bapak Mahmudin Nur Al-Gozaly, Consul for Information, Art and Culture. Our booth attracted many visitors, and we received several book orders.

Budi Darma’s People from Bloomington winning the 2023 PEN Translation Prize

From Tiffany Tsao:

“I am honored to have played a role in bringing Budi Darma’s work to an English-speaking audience, and I am so happy that his short-story collection has received the recognition it deserves. This is also the first time in the history of the prize that an Indonesian literary work, and any work from Southeast Asia, has been the recipient, and I am proud to have had a hand in making this possible.”

*For a Youtube recording of the event please click on PEN America Literary Award

In Memoriam

July 12, 1945 – December 12, 2022
Yapi Panda Abdiel Tambayong, better known as Remy Sylado, was equally lauded as an author, actor, and musician. Dewi Anggraeni translated his novel Namaku Mata Hari (Gramedia, 2010) into English and My Name is Mata Hari was published by Dalang in 2012. We are honored to have been a small part of his remarkable journey and are grateful for his many contributions to Indonesia’s literary landscape.



Coming Soon

Advance Praise:

Footprints / Tapak Tilas, a bilingual compilation of short stories published by Dalang Publishing, provides its English-speaking readers with a clear picture of Indonesia’s people and culture through easy-to-read yet thought-provoking prose. Equally important is that because the original stories and their translations are featured side-by-side, the book is also a valuable teaching tool of both the Indonesian and English languages. Aside from the aforementioned qualities, Footprints / Tapak Tilas can be recommended as a bilingual reference book, not only because of its rich cultural content, but also because the publication has maintained the integrity of both languages.
I express my profound and sincere appreciation for Dalang Publishing’s tireless efforts to honor and execute the purpose of the Indonesian language, which is to serve as a linguistic intermediary between regions. The stories published in Footprints / Tapak Tilas are proof of these efforts. Hopefully, this publication will be followed by similar works on the world’s literary stage.
⸺ E. Aminudin Aziz
Head of Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa Kemendikbudristek


With Footprints / Tapak Tilas, Dalang Publishing and Lian Gouw, its tireless founder and driving spirit, commemorate ten productive years of storytelling. The book’s title is particularly apt because the collection offers a magnanimous bounty of short stories that invite the reader to explore myriad paths that traverse the diverse and often intriguing literary landscape of Indonesia. Many of these paths make unexpected twists and turns that confound easy generalizations about the Indonesian people, their cultures, and histories. Particularly noteworthy is the geographical range represented by the inclusion of stories from places like Southwest Sulawesi and the interior of Central Kalimantan, towns and villages still fairly remote from the glittering hustle of urban centers. On this journey, we encounter deep concerns about the precarity of nature and the indigenous peoples whose age-old ways and wisdoms are as threatened as the environment in which they live. A bilingual tour-de-force, this work is a useful sourcebook for learners of Indonesian language and culture.
⸺ Sylvia Tiwon, Associate Professor, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley


Rarely do works of literary translation call attention to the mechanics of the act of translation. And too often, literary translations are applauded for their “seamlessness” — that is, their ability to fool the reader into thinking they are reading a work in its original language rather than a translated rendition of that work. Footprints / Tapak Tilas engages in no such trickery. The Indonesian-language originals and English-language translations are published side-by-side. What results is an immensely valuable work for aspiring translators of Indonesian literature.
Even as an experienced translator, I learned a lot, not only from comparing the original versions of the stories with their English translations, but also by comparing different translators’ methods and different writers’ styles. Aspiring Indonesian writers will also benefit greatly from reading this anthology. It affords the opportunity to compare writers’ voices from various historical periods, locations, and perspectives — and to sharpen one’s own writing voice in response.
⸺ Tiffany Tsao, Literary Translator and Author


The stories in this collection offer glimpses into the variety of perspectives and voices of Indonesian life during different phases in history. Some represent an in-depth look at well-known historical moments through the eyes of figures inhabiting the peripheries of Indonesian society; others present Indonesian lives that have been completely disregarded in the mainstream collective memory of the Indonesian people. These stories, written in the original Indonesian language, represent the richly diverse landscapes of Indonesian culture and society ⸺ the English translation versions, each having gone through a careful and rigorous process, enhance the journey into the Indonesian imagination. As such, these stories, previously published on the Dalang Publishing website, serve as an anamnestic means to fill the gaps erased or left empty by the complex and often traumatic experiences Indonesian society has undergone from early colonial times to the present. Indonesian readers will gain insight as to who they are and who they may be, while others will see how Indonesian life intersects with theirs as fellow human beings.
⸺ Ari J. Adipurwawidjana, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung


New literary writing is important, as it not only reflects on life, but often offers hope to those in the midst of struggling with real-life issues. The stories in this compilation have been written in such a way that they invite the reader to either simply enjoy the read or become actively engaged in the characters’ roles. The story about an underground radio broadcast during Indonesia’s Revolution for Independence, after more than seven decades, is still capable of reopening old wounds. Stories about a backyard tree and bittersweet memories of past family events will resonate with many, while stories about bird calls along a riverbank and the silence of a deserted beach will surely turn the heads of many environmentalists.
Readers of Footprints / Tapak Tilas will not only enjoy a good read, but will also experience how fiction evokes new perspectives through stories grounded in history, culture and the environment.
⸺ Benny Arnas, Author and Literary Activist



Welcome Bapak Prasetyo and Ibu Ota

A heartfelt welcome to the new Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco, Prasetyo Hadi, and his wife, Sekti Kirana Jati.

We are touched and honored by their visit to Lian’s residence so soon after their arrival in San Francisco and thank Ibu Riena Dwi Astuty, Consul of Information and Social Cultural Affairs, for thoughtfully arranging this introduction. We also thank Ibu Riena Sarojo, secretary to the Consul General for escorting the honored guests to the meeting.

The pleasant afternoon was filled with insightful conversation and building a solid foundation for close collaboration between the KJRI SF (Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia San Francisco) and Dalang Publishing. We look forward to working together in bringing English language translations of Indonesian literary works ⸺ works that introduce our history, culture, and social concerns — to the United States and the world beyond.

In Memoriam

Foto Rinto sdh Mandi

Rinto Andriono

August 22, 1974 – November 29, 2021

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rinto Andriono, one of our talented writers, for the Your Stories column of our website. Rinto’s writing reflects his deep concerns for the environment as well as the human condition. We had just published his latest work, The Third Gender, when we received the very unsettling news of his death. Earlier this year, we featured Pongo’s Caring Tree, which expresses Andriono’s compassion for nature.
Rinto Andriono passed away at 8:30 a.m. on November 29th, 2021, in Dr. Sardjito Hospital, Yogyakarta from a heart attack.

He is survived by his wife, Dati Fatimah, a son and a daughter.

Farewell, dear friend. May you rest in peace.

Selamatan for Panji’s Quest


San Mateo, September 27, 2021.

True to Dalang’s custom, we celebrated the launch of Panji’s Quest, Oni Suryaman’s English language translation of Tembang dan Perang by award-winning author Junaedi Setiyono (PT Kanisius 2020), with a selamatan a traditional Indonesian celebratory meal used to welcome and ask blessings for anything new, as well as to give thanks.

The still-prevailing COVID situation forced us to trim our usual guestlist of thirty-six to four and hold the event on Lian’s front patio instead of in a rented meeting room.


We are grateful and honored by the presence of the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco, Simon Soekarno and his wife, Evelyn Soekarno, as well as the Consul of Cultural Affairs, Riena Dwi Astuti, and her husband, Ishkak, at the traditional nasi tumpeng meal.


Because everyone spoke Indonesian, we conducted the entire event in that language. Pak (the Indonesian way of addressing men of stature) Simon delivered the opening remarks, and Ibu (the Indonesian way of addressing women of stature) Riena discussed Dalang’s role as cultural ambassador for Indonesia’s literature. Both Pak Simon and Ibu Riena were presented with a book set of Tembang dan Perang and Panji’s Quest. We all enjoyed the home-cooked traditional food and a pleasant afternoon in good company and invigorating conversation.




You can attend the event remotely by clicking on this link Selamatan Panji’s Quest.

In Memoriam


With deep sadness, we join in mourning the passing of Budi Darma. A prolific award-winning writer and revered educator, Prof. Budi Darma was a cornerstone of Indonesia’s literary world. Dalang Publishing is honored to share two of his numerous short stories — Tukang Cukur (The Barber) and Mata Yang Indah (Beautiful Eyes) — on the Your Story page of our website.


PresentationDSC01213 Budi Dharma1

As a tribute to Pak Budi’s influential contributions to the enrichment of Indonesian literature, in addition to his decades-long teaching and mentoring accomplishments, we share a few of his popular, wise advice to young writers:

  • To write, you first need to read many books.
  • Without the written word, a civilization cannot progresstherefore, write!
  • Writing is not merely scribbling letters and words. Writing familiarizes the reader with literature.

Indonesia lost a literary icon and education master, but we gained so much from the life of Budi Darma. Above all of his accomplishments as a writer and educator, he was a kind and generous person whose writing was a pursuit of truth. The best way to honor him and show our gratitude is to nurture the seed his spirit left in everyone he touched.

Rest in peace, our friend.

Bincang Sastra: Kelindan Penerjemahan Sastra


The following are events that took place in Indonesia.

Click Bincang Sastra: Kelindan Penerjemah Sastra for a recording of the event.



Mengadang Pusaran on Zoom


We are pleased to share this virtual book discussion of Mengadang Pusaran (PT Kanisius 2020) the second Indonesian language translation of Only A Girl by Widjati Hartiningtyas. The well attended event was hosted by the Department of Language and Literature of the Faculty of Cultural Science of Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogjakarta in collaboration with the Association of Indonesian Scholars of Literature, Commissariat UGM and followed by a lively discussion.



Dalang at the Borobudur Writers and Cultural Festival


Borobudur Writers and Cultural Festival – November 23, 2020

We are closing 2020 on a happy note with a virtual participation in the Borobudur Writers and Cultural Festival. At the event we were able to introduce PT Kanisius as the publisher of Mengadang Pusaran (PT Kanisius 2020) a new Indonesian language translation of Only A Girl by Widjati Hartiningtyas of a novel by Lian Gouw and Tembang dan Perang (Kanisius 2020) Junaedi Setiyono’s new novel now in translation by Dalang Publishing and scheduled for publication at the end of next summer.

We were pleased to have Junaedi Setiyono, author of Tembang dan Perang, Flora Maharani, Kanisius’ editor for both books, Widjati Hartiningtyas translator of Only A Girl, Marius Santo, cover designer of both books, and Asri Sastrawati, one of the back cover reviewers for Mengadang Pusaran share the stage with us.

Please click here for a recording of the event.

Come Celebrate With Us!

The Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture awarded the 2020 Literary award to the original of Dasamuka by Junaedy Setiyono (Penerbit Ombak and Dalang Publishing 2017) while Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur (Penerbit Universitas Sanata Dharma and Dalang Publishing 2018) placed as one of five nominees for the award.


Both titles are available directly from us as well as from Amazon.

For Dasamuka click here.

*For the original of Dasamuka contact: Penerbit Ombak or via WA.0813-2746-6544 (Shaim Tulus Widodo)

For Blood Moon over Aceh click here.

*For the original of Blood Moon over Aceh (Lolong Anjing di Bulan) contact: or via WA.0813-1462-0330

Sapardi Djoko Damono


Sapardi Djoko Damono

March 20, 1940 – July 19, 2020


With deep sadness, we acknowledge the passing of Pak Sapardi Djoko Damono. A renowned poet and educator, he was a pillar of Indonesia’s literary world. His death is a great loss for our nation, as well as for culturists worldwide.

In memoriam, we share the following poems from Pak Sapardi’s rich collection of work.


Pada Suatu Hari Nanti

Pada suatu hari nanti,
jasadku tak akan ada lagi,
tapi dalam bait-bait sajak ini,
kau tak akan kurelakan sendiri.

Pada suatu hari nanti,
suaraku tak terdengar lagi,
tapi di antara larik-larik sajak ini.
kau akan tetap kusiasati,

Pada suatu hari nanti,
impianku pun tak dikenal lagi,
namun di sela-sela huruf sajak ini,
kau tak akan letih-letihnya kucari.


Aku Ingin

Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana
dengan kata yang tak sempat diucapkan
kayu kepada api yang menjadikannya abu

Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana
dengan isyarat yang tak sempat disampaikan awan
kepada hujan yang menjadikannya tiada


Hujan Bulan Juni

Tak ada yang lebih tabah
dari hujan bulan Juni
Dirahasiakannya rintik rindunya
kepada pohon berbunga itu

Tak ada yang lebih bijak
dari hujan bulan Juni
Dihapusnya jejak-jejak kakinya
yang ragu-ragu di jalan itu

Tak ada yang lebih arif
dari hujan bulan Juni
Dibiarkannya yang tak terucapkan
diserap akar pohon bunga itu


Dalam Diriku

Dalam diriku mengalir sungai panjang
Darah namanya;
Dalam diriku menggenang telaga darah
Sukma namanya;
Dalam diriku meriak gelombang sukma
Hidup namanya!
Dan karena hidup itu indah
Aku menangis sepuas-puasnya.


Sementara Kita Saling Berbisik

sementara kita saling berbisik
untuk lebih lama tinggal
pada debu, cinta yang tinggal berupa
bunga kertas dan lintasan angka-angka

ketika kita saling berbisik
di luar semakin sengit malam hari
memadamkan bekas-bekas telapak kaki,
menyekap sisa-sisa unggun api sebelum fajar.

Ada yang masih bersikeras abadi.



Indonesia 2019


September 20, 2019 Short Story Workshop

University of Sanata Dharma


September 20, 2019 Kebaharuan dalam Keindonesiaan


Friends in Jogja



September 23, 2019 Kiat Menulis Karya Satra yang Mendunia

University of Muhammadiyah

Acara Purworejo



October 4, 2019 Translation Workshop

Petra University



October 7, 2019 Dasamuka

Petra University



Round Table Discussion

Petra University







October 14, 2019 Issues in Translation – The Necessity of a Solid Original

University of Indonesia



Friends in Jakarta

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20191009_140114 IMG_2394


Monas Jakarta


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September 28, 2019 – The Wedding


Ibu Liana Pengurus Rasa Dharma Ibu Sukma Nurna

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Lian Gouw pilihan (12)fLian Gouw pilihan (5)

Lian Gouw pilihan (8)

Pak Budi

Budi2) (1)Budi2) (3)


Indonesian Day 2019

September 15, 2019

Indonesian Day: Wonderful Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke

Dalang Publishing participated in Indonesian Day: Wonderful Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke an event held by the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco on September 15, 2019 in the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason. We are grateful to Ibu Riena Dwi Astuty, the Consul of Information and Social Cultural Affairs who gave us the opportunity to represent Indonesian literature at the event.  In addition to, showcasing our own titles, our display also represented several independent Indonesian publishers, Penerbit Banana, Noura, Gramedia, Obor, Ombak, Penerbit USD, and Lontar.

We also thankful for the collaboration of the Indonesian publishers who have provided us with their current titles.

Last but not least, we’d like to express our gratitude to the folks who to visited our booth.  We appreciate your interest and support of Indonesian literature.



Taking Indonesian Literature to America


Burlingame Public Library: May 21, 2019

Dalang Publishing was honored by an invitation from the Burlingame Main Public Library in Burlingame, California, to introduce our offerings and work to their readership. Thanks to Cynthia Rider, the Adult Services Librarian, the event was heavily promoted and well attended.

We are grateful to Ibu Riena Dwi Astuty, Consul of Cultural Affairs at the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco, for attending the event with her office staff, Cindy German and Andrian Mulia.


Cynthia Rider’s warm welcome was followed by publisher Lian Gouw’s introduction of Dalang Publishing and brief mention of Dalang’s ten titles. In addition, Bu Lian gave the audience a glimpse of her native Indonesia.

She then gave a presentation and reading of Dalang’s most recent publication, Blood Moon over Aceh, Maya Denisa Saputra’s English language translation of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur. Bu Lian concluded the event with a Q&A.


After the event, the audience mingled and visited the book table while enjoying some refreshments, which included lapis Surabaya, an Indonesian cake served at special events, accompanied by a hot cup of Indonesian tea.

Cal Day 2019


Virginia Shih, Curator for the Southeast Asia Collection at the South/Southeast Asia Library at the University of California Berkeley, invited Dalang Publishing to present its titles at her library on Saturday, April 13, 2019: Cal Day 2019.

Cal Day is an annual event where UC Berkeley opens its doors and offers more than 300 lectures, tours, performances, demonstrations, and discussions. All events are free, campus-wide.

Virginia Shih gave opening remarks, followed by Ibu Lian’s presentation in the library’s intimate environment.

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Audience members included Abby Scheel, Head of the Arts & Humanities Division at the UC Berkeley Library, and Sylvia Tiwon, Associate Professor of South & Southeast Asian Studies. The Q&A discussions that followed the presentation provided added interest to the event.


We are grateful and honored for the opportunity to participate in Cal Day.


Oregon Asian Celebration 2019

34th Annual Oregon Asian Celebration in Eugene, Oregon

February 16–17, 2019

Celebrates the Year of the Pig


The Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco graciously allowed Dalang Publishing to share its booth at the 34th Annual Oregon Asian Celebration 2019, a festival that celebrates the rich diversity of Asia and Asian American cultural heritage. The family-friendly event featured two days of cultural learning opportunities through entertainment, dance, cuisine, fine arts, a marketplace, information booths, and more.

Although this was Dalang’s first time to participate in the event, the Indonesian Consulate has been a part of the annual celebration for twenty consecutive years.

We presented Dalang’s ten titles, alongside the Indonesian Consulate’s presentation of Wonderful Indonesia, with promotional material on Indonesian tourism and products. Hundreds of visitors stopped by the booth and enjoyed bits of travel information, history, literature, and Indonesian refreshments.



Blood Moon over Aceh by Arafat Nur Launch at the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco

On February 9, 2019, Dalang Publishing launched Blood Moon over Aceh, the English-language translation by Maya Denisa Saputra of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur, at the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco. Nur used the Aceh Conflict as the backdrop of his novel, and he used Aceh, known as the gateway to Mekah, for the setting.

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Acting Consul General Hanggiro Setiabudi honored us with opening remarks, and Ibu Lian presented him a copy of Blood Moon over Aceh, as well as its original, Lolong Anjing di Bulan, for the Consulate’s library.

Hanggiro’s presentation, Aceh Today, showcased Aceh’s significant economic growth and infrastructure that has occurred subsequent to the novel’s time period, 1989–2002.


Blood Moon over Aceh is Dalang Publishing’s tenth publication. Ibu Lian expressed her gratitude to the Consulate for its support of each publication’s launch before presenting the work through slides of the story’s location and a short reading.


Refreshments included an array of authentic Indonesian sweet and savory snacks.


The Selamatan for Blood Moon over Aceh

On February 9, 2019, Dalang Publishing celebrated its publication of Blood Moon over Aceh, Maya Denisa Saputra’s English translation of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur with a Selamatan in San Mateo, California.

Despite the raging storm, about 26 invitees were present. We were honored by the presence of Bapak Hanggiro Setiabudi, Acting Consul General, of the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco; Bapak Susapto Anggoro Broto, Consul of Consulair Affairs; Ibu Riena Dwi Astuty, Consul of Cultural Affairs; and Ibu Cindy German, her assistant.

Sylvia Tiwon, professor of Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley; Virginia Shih, librarian of SOEA Library at UC Berkeley; and Jacqueline Siapno, one of the back cover reviewers of Blood Moon over Aceh, were also among the attendees.

In addition to pointing out the importance of Nur’s work, Siapno generously shared some of her experiences during the time she lived in Aceh.


Ibu Lian started the evening with opening remarks and a presentation of a copy of Lolong Anjing di Bulan and Blood Moon over Aceh to Bapak Hanggiro for the Consulate’s Library.

In turn, Bapak Hanggiro expressed his gratitude and acknowledged Dalang Publishing’s efforts to bring Indonesian literature to the Western world. He also shared his personal ties with Aceh and the government’s continued efforts to develop Aceh.

Dinner was started by Ibu Lian presenting the top of the tumpeng to Bapak Hanggiro as the guest of honor.

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Because the novel’s story is set in Aceh, we served ayam tangkap and plik’eu, two authentic Acehnese dishes, as part of the regular side dishes that accompany the nasi tumpeng. Agem was in charge of the food preparation — a delicious spread that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

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The evening ended with Ibu Lian reading a short excerpt of Blood Moon over Aceh.

As usual, the guests were given a copy of the celebrated publication as a party favor.


Indonesia 2018

Our 2018 Trip Home


In November 2018, Dalang went home for the launch of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur. This publication is a collaborative effort between Dalang Publishing and Sanata Dharma University Press in Yogyakarta. Blood Moon over Aceh, the English translation by Maya Denisa Saputra, publishes in January 2019.

We visited the novel’s setting in Aceh and promoted the work through seminars, lectures, and book discussions, in cities on Java and Sumatra.


Jakarta, November 5, 2018

In Jakarta at midday on Monday, November 5, 2018. Pak Nono, Ibu Lian’s nephew, his wife, Oeke, and Riri Satria, met at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport. They kept us company while waiting for our flight to Semarang later that afternoon. Thank you Riri, Pak Nono, and Mbak Oeke.


Semarang, November 7, 2018

National Seminar: Introducing the Indonesian Language and Literature to the World.

Hosted by: The Faculty of Language Education and Art of Universitas PGRI Semarang.

Dalang are grateful for the assistance of Dr. Prasetyo Utomo, a writer and lecturer at this university, for initiating Dalang’s participation in this event.

Pak Arisul met Ibu Lian at the Semarang Airport and drove to Roemah Keboen, well-known for its authentic Semarang cuisine, where Ibu Maria Yosephin Widarti, chair of the seminar, was already waiting for us.

This national seminar was held in context of celebrating our language. In her keynote Merayakan Bulan Bahasa dengan Mengulang Soempah Pemoeda, Celebrating Language Month with Renewing the Youth Pledge — Second Youth Congress on October 28, 1928, Ibu Lian stressed the importance of protecting the sanctity of the Indonesian language from undue infiltration by the English language, due to the current climate of living in globalization and a focus on economic growth.

We introduced Lolong Anjing di Bulan and its English translation Blood Moon over Aceh.



Yogyakarta, November 9, 2018

The Launch of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur was a part of the 2018 Dies Natalis program of Universitas Sanata Dharma.

It was an honor to have the opening remarks presented by the Rector of the Sanata Dharma University, Drs. Johanes Eka Priyatma, M.Sc., Ph.D.

We extend our gratitude to Vice Chancellor IV, F.X. Ouda Teda Ena, M.Pd., Ed.D. and his office staff, especially Elin, for their great help during the entire process of this publication.

Lolong Anjing di Bulan /Blood Moon over Aceh was introduced by a panel consisting of Arafat Nur, the author, Dr. Junaedi Setiyono, M.Pd. the editor, Maya Denisa Saputra, the translator, and Poet /Activist Zubaidah Djohar, one of the back cover reviewers. Dra. Novita Dewi, M.S., M.A.(Hons), Ph.D. represented the University of Sanata Dharma Press with an in-depth review. Lian Gouw represented Dalang Publishing and acted as panel moderator.



Sumatra, November 10 – 18, 2018.

We are grateful for the company of Zubaidah Djohar during our visit to Sumatra. Aside from having lived in Aceh for many years, Zubaidah has also done intensive research at, among others, the Aceh Institute on the Aceh Conflict. She provided us with an excellent guide for our visit to Alue Rambe, near Lhokseumawe.


Aceh, November 10 – 15, 2018

Banda Aceh

Dalang met Dr.Ir. M. Dirhamsyah, MT a lecturer at the University of Syiah Kuala and a former dean at Universitas Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry. Pak Dirham connected Dalang to Ar-Raniry and provided with a competent driver/guide during our stay at Banda Aceh. Ibu Lian spent a wonderful evening filled with friendship and graced with a delicious dinner with him and his lovely wife, Dian.



We appreciate the time Prof. Eka Srimulyani, one of the back cover reviewers of Lolong Anjing di Bulan as well as Blood Moon over Aceh, took out of her busy schedule to meet with us over a delicious lunch.


On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Pak Rizwan, our driver /guide, expertly showed us around Banda Aceh. We started the day with a visit to beautiful Lampuuk beach under clear blue skies. Next on our sightseeing list were the historic house of the Acehnese heroine Cut Nyak Dhien, the Aceh tsunami museum, and the grand mosque Baiturrahman.

While a monsoon rain poured out of a sudden dark sky, Pak Rizwan made sure we had a chance to savor delicious Aceh food for lunch. By the time we reached the mosque, the downpour had turned into a very light drizzle but had left the entrance and mosque plaza pretty puddled. After making sure we had covered ourselves appropriately and taken off our shoes, Pak Rizwan escorted us onto the mosque property.


Lampuuk beach


Acehnese heroine, Cut Nyak Dhien’s historical house


The mass grave site for the victims of the 2004 mega tsunami


Aceh Tsunami Museum


The Grand Mosque Baiturrahman


Banda Aceh, November 12, 2018

Open Lecture on writing.

Hosted by: the Faculty of Dakwah at the University of Ar-Raniry

We are grateful for Pak Dirham’s introduction to Dr. Hendra Syahputra, Head of the Department of Communication and Islamic Studies, Faculty of Dakwah, at the University of Ar-Raniry.

Pak Hendra invited Ibu Lian to give an open lecture on writing, which was well received by the attending class and faculty. It was deeply heartwarming when, at the end of the event, Roni, one of the students, presented Ibu Lian with a sketch of her reading from Only A Girl, her own novel.



Banda Aceh, November 13, 2018

Seminar on Publishing and Book Discussion of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur.

Hosted by the University of Syiah Kuala.

Zubaidah Djohar and Acehnese award-winning author Azhari Ayyub, (Kura-Kura Berjanggut, Penerbit Banana, 2018) joined us at this event, organized by Herman Rusli Nuriam, a published author of short stories and lecturer of Indonesian literature, at the University of Syiah Kuala.

The students’ enthusiasm about writing and their interest in literature was encouraging.


Alue Rambe, November 14, 2018

This was a long awaited, very special day for us. Activist Zulfikar Muhammad, our competent and well connected guide had arranged a meeting with the Village Head and Elders of Alue Rambe as well as Bapak Abdussalam, one of the many villagers who have supported and inspired Arafat Nur during the writing of Lolong Anjing di Bulan.

Having a conversation with people who still have a direct connection with Nur’s vivid account of history but have risen above history’s monstrosities was an unnerving experience. As was standing on the same soil the characters of Nur’s novel endured and walking across the same paths they fled to safety.

As publishers, we are grateful for Nur’s courage to write the story and humbled by his trust in us to bring it properly to the page. We feel a deep responsibility to help spread his warning against greed and acknowledgement that only love and justice will bring much needed peace.


West Sumatra, November 15 -18, 2018

During our stay here we visited several historical places:

Amai Setia in Koto Gadang, the first school for girls founded by Rohana Kudus, the first woman journalist in Indonesia. It was fun to imagine Belenggu Emas /The Golden Shackle, Iksaka Banu’s short story on the Your Stories page of our website, while sitting on a bench in the now curio shop but once must have been the living room where two Dutch socialites waited for Rohana Kudus to come home.


Rumah Puisi Taufik Ismail, Taufik Ismail’s House of Poetry, in Aie Angek, Padang Panjang.

A winding, narrow, country road led us through thin fog to a wonderful little library of the poet’s work. The adjacent cottages are an ideal writer’s retreat.



Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, an old colonial fortress above Bukitttinggi in its current setting was a disappointment. Other than a few canons, very little reminded the visitor of the fort’s history.



Lake Singkarak, made us think of Love, Death, and Revolution, Stefani Irawan’s English language translation of Maut dan Cinta by Mochtar Lubis. (Dalang Publishing 2015) The lake was an important location in the novel.



Lastly, we visited Istana Pagaruyung, the Minangkabau palace in Pagaruyung, Batusangkar.

It was dusk when we arrived at the gates of this 17th century impressive piece of architecture that has survived several fires. We admired the ornate interior carvings, the displayed textiles and ornaments and imagined their functionality in life then. Evening quickly wrapped the area in a mystical glow and sent us home filled with wonder and curiosity about the past.



Saturday, December 17, 2018.

We spent the morning at the beautiful Air Manis beach, also known as Malin Kundang beach in Padang. Unfortunately, the rock formation that reminds us of the Malin Kundang legend is surrounded by food stalls and therefore very hard to photograph. The rock formation shows a man laying prostrate asking forgiveness from his mother for insulting her. According to the story the man refused to see his mother after returning to his village as a rich man.

Later that afternoon, we met with Padang Literati.

Meeting Padang Literati.

Zubaidah Djohar arranged a small get together at the Kubik Kafe with Padang literati and young aspiring writers they mentor.

Muhammad Ibrahim Ilyas is a published, award-winning playwright and the recipient of the Indonesian Literary Award 2017, Board of Language, Drama Category.

Dr. Hermawan, M. Hum., lecturer of Indonesian Language and Literature at The School of Teacher Training and Education and Chair of the West Sumatra Chapter Association of Indonesian Literary Scholars, is also a known Padang literary critic.

The informal, intimate setting was conducive for a lively exchange at a personal level on several topics, such as publication standards, the use of language on the page, and a writer’s expectations of work and goals. The afternoon was an enriching experience, and we hope our contact with this group will last long into the future.



Yogyakarta, November 19, 2018

Guest Lecture for the Creative Writing Class at the Dept. of Indonesian Literature.

Universitas Sanata Dharma


We thank Ibu Peni and Pak Yapi for giving Ibu Lian the opportunity to work with their students as a guest lecturer on the process of writing with the goal to publish. Aside from addressing the main elements of fiction, Ibu Lian also stressed the importance of using proper Indonesian rather than words corrupted by the English language.

A lively dialogue between her and the students ensued after the lecture.

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Purworejo, November 21, 2018

Workshop on Utilizing the Elements of Fiction to write Engaging Reports.

Hosted by Universitas Muhammadiyah Purworejo – UKM Jurnalistik Sinar Surya

We thank Pak Junaedi Setiyono for the introduction to Pak Andrian who teaches journalism at the Universitas Muhammadiyah in Purworejo and invited Ibu Lian to do the above mentioned workshop with his class.

Ibu Lian offered a copy of Dasamuka by Junaedi Setiyono (Penerbit Ombak & Dalang Publishing 2017) and a copy of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur (Sanata Dharma University Press & Dalang Publishing 2018) as prizes for the best writing and the most engaged student.

Trasta Diah chose Lolong Anjing di Bulan for her winning of the best written workshop writing exercise. The following is her take on the workshop.


For most people, reading newspapers or magazines is boring. But, I do enjoy reading novels, especially Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur.

At the workshop organized by UKM Jurnalistik Sinar Surya Universitas Muhammadiyah Purworejo, on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018, my fellow students were given the opportunity to pretend to be journalists.

The material Ibu Lian presented was very engaging. She explained in detail how to write a news article accurately. It was also interesting that Ibu Lian who lives abroad encouraged us to use proper Indonesian for all our communication and writing. Thank you Ibu Lian and Pak Jun for inspiring us.

Diki Bayu Aji was rewarded for his enthused participation with a copy of Dasamuka. The following is his take on the workshop.


I’m proud to have attended a workshop on the implementation of the elements of writing in journalism. I often find reading, especially news, boring. The workshop taught me how to avoid boring my readers.

Ibu Lian Gouw explained that in order to write news accurately, we need to engage the three senses we are born with: to see, hear and feel. I’m also inspired by Ibu Lian, who despite having lived outside of Indonesia for so long, still emphasizes to love the Indonesian language with the same spirit we vowed in the Sumpah Pemuda, the Youth Pledge. The workshop inspired me to continue to write and my win of the novel Dasamuka by Pak Jun, strengthens this intent. Thank you Ibu Lian Gouw and Bapak Junaedi Setiyono.

After the event, the rector of the Universitas Muhammadiyah Purworejo, Drs. H. Supriyono, M.Pd, invited Ibu Lian and Pak Jun to his office.

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Jakarta, November 23, 2018

Open Discussion – How can Indonesian Writers reach American Readers?

Hosted by: Dapur Sastra Jakarta

Pusat Dokumentasi Sastra HB Jassin

Taman Ismail Marzuki

Riri Satria, an old high school friend of Tuti and the administrator of Dapur Sastra Jakarta, a community of poets and writers, invited us to their monthly meeting to introduce Dalang, Lolong Anjing di Bulan /Blood moon over Aceh and have an open discussion with attendees regarding the novel, writing related issues, publishing in general, and translation requirements.

The meeting was well attended. Riri moderated the animated discussion which gave us a chance to share our mission and members a chance to talk about their work. This, in turn, allowed us to meet several talented writers.

Pak Diky Lukman, Kepala Satuan Pelaksana Pusat Dokumentasi Sastra H.B Jassin, Head, Operational Unit H.B. Jassin’s Center of Literary Documentation, showed documents with the original handwriting of the poet Chairil Anwar (1940s.) It was not only a pleasure but also a great privilege to see the handwriting of the great Indonesian poet.

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This was our last event on our 2018 visit home. We came back to the USA tired, but enriched, from our 2018 month-long travel back home on a packed, tight schedule and look forward to going home later this year.

We wish you all a healthy, happy and fulfilling 2019.

An Evening in Indonesia


Dalang Publishing was invited to participate in “An Evening in Indonesia,” a cultural event that the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco hosted on October 12, 2018. To us, aside from an opportunity to draw attention to our press, it was a wonderful opportunity to commemorate the Soempah Pemoeda, the pledge that young Indonesian nationalists in the Second Youth Congress made on October 28, 1928, to uphold Bahasa Indonesia, the language that unites us.

Dalang’s titles, as well as our canvas illustrating that historic moment, drew much attention.


Meanwhile, we are moving full force toward the press date of Blood Moon over Aceh, the English language translation by Maya Denisa Saputra of Lolong Anjing di Bulan by Arafat Nur (Penerbit Universitas Sanata Dharma 2018). An excerpt of the work is featured as this month’s short story on the “Your Stories,” “Current” page of our website,

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Dalang will participate in the launch of Lolong Anjing di Bulan on November 9, 2018 at the Universitas Sanata Dharma in Yogyakarta. Java.


On November 13, 2018, we will present the title at Universitas Syiah Kuala in Banda Aceh, Sumatra.


Association for Asian American Studies


Dalang Publishing hosted a book table at the recent Conference of the Association for Asian American Studies in the St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in San Francisco, March 29–31, 2018.

Sadly, Dalang was the only conference exhibitor with books on Indonesia among the 23 exhibitors attending. Dalang counted some 48 guests to our table. We made some good new contacts and, although we sold only 21 books, we are happy with the interest that was shown for Indonesian literature.

But noticing how actively the Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean populations were represented at the conference — and knowing that there are some 145,000 Indonesian citizens and according to a recording on Wikipedia some 100.000 Indonesian diaspora were living in the USA in 2010 — the absence of Indonesian representation in the conference program and conference attendance is disappointing and frustrating to those of us who are committed to spreading the history, culture, and beauty of Indonesia through writing.

Another concern arose at the conference, and it’s a concern that must be addressed by all who love Indonesia and are concerned about its future: Three people, at separate times, asked why I — a person of Chinese descent — was promoting Indonesian literature, when the Indonesians are “known” to massacre and discriminate against the Chinese. If highly educated people believe this, then we must work to reach all populations who are influenced by false propaganda. We cannot hope for a better future if we keep dwelling on a tumultuous past.

On a different note, thanks to Tuti, Dalang Publishing is proud to celebrate one full year of short story publishing with our April 6 website bilingual publication of Pohon Pu Tao Tua / The Old Pu Tao Tree by Teguh Afandi — translated by Laura Harsoyo.

We hope you have enjoyed the stories that have appeared on our website, without fail, every first Friday of an even month and that you will continue to support us.

We are now reading submissions year-round and look forward to receiving submissions that meet our writer’s guidelines as posted on this website. http:// Thank you for your support of our mission to contribute to the landscape of Indonesian literature.

Happy New Year 2018

We, at Dalang Publishing, wish you a healthy and fulfilling New Year.

This video, a generous gift from the talented videographer Ditto Priutomo Aimir, will now start the PowerPoint presentation at our events.

We invite short story writers of historical and cultural fiction to send us their manuscripts. Please check the Writer’s Guidelines page of our website for manuscript preparation.

Look for a new short story, every first Friday in February, April, June, August, October, and December, at the Your Stories page. The next one will be available on Friday, February 2, 2018.


Happy New Year!

October 9–November 16, 2017: Home for Seven Weeks

This year’s trip home to Indonesia began with a totally unexpected, extremely generous offer from Dr. Enny Anggraini — chair of the 5th Literary Studies Conference, hosted by the Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta on October 12 and 13, 2017 — to deliver a keynote based on my thoughts and experiences as an Indonesian diasporan author and publisher.

I folded my fear of losing our Indonesian language not only into my keynote, but also into the theme of this year’s talks and the translation workshop I held. As it turned out, “From immigrant to diasporan, a homecoming of the heart,” gave me the opportunity to address my concerns and “bring home” several diaspora voices, ranging from poetry, novels, short stories, and children’s books to cookbooks. It was good to see a healthy interest in the divergent material, back home.

During the seven weeks I spent traveling from Yogyakarta to Semarang, Salatiga, Surabaya, Bandung, and Jakarta, I had ample opportunity to share my concerns regarding the rapid deterioration of our Indonesian language, not only due to the tremendous influx of English words that we are daily exposed to, but, even more, due to the sad fact that we Indonesians, as a nation, feel compelled to show a certain level of education by sandwiching English words between proper Indonesian prefixes and suffixes. It was, in a sense, rather mind-blowing to notice how much people were unaware of how this behavior butchers our own language.

I was grateful to be given the opportunity to share with our youth and educators my need to create a new awareness regarding the place of language in the realm of nationality, in the true sense of the word, and in the spirit of the years of the revolution, when our first president, Soekarno, called our nation to unite, under one flag, using one language: the Indonesian flag and the Indonesian language.

Hopefully, the seeds I tried to sow regarding active support for Indonesian studies and literature by offering a solid educational basis for our future authors, translators, and literary critics, will germinate. New contacts and rekindled relationships give me the courage to continue trying to share our colorful history and rich culture with the American reader through English language translations of the original work.

Despite a packed work agenda, there was time to enjoy reconnecting with old friends and visiting places I relate to as “home.”

The following photographs will give you a glimpse of my seven, wonderful weeks home. Unfortunately, I caught a very bad cold on the plane, hence this tardy posting.


Yogyakarta – October 10–19, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017: At The 5th Literary Studies Conference, hosted by the Sanata Dharma University, I presented, “From immigrant to diasporan, a homecoming of the heart.”


Link to event:

…is a homecoming of the heart enough to earn back the privilege of being considered a part of the Indonesian population?


Friday, October 13, 2017: Dalang Publishing was given the opportunity to present, “The importance of literary translation” as a panel that represented each part of the publications of the original and translated work. We featured our latest publication, Maya Denisa Saputra’s English translation of Dasamuka by Junaedi Setiyono, along with the original novel, published by Penerbit Ombak.


Link to event:

Translations of novels enable readers around the world to enjoy the work of writers of different countries and, not only become privy to these writers’ techniques, but also get a glimpse into the souls of the individuals who the story is written about.


Kartika Nurul Nugrahini from Penerbit Ombak: In our opinion, the success of a publication depends on the impact it has on its readers. In order to share information or make cultural exchanges, translation is almost a necessity.

Junaedi Setiyono: I write historical fiction because I not only want to present the beauty of language in the form of a story, but I also want my readers to appreciate what happened to their ancestors, when preparing for their own future.

Maya Denisa Saputra: I hope that my translations will serve as a cultural connector of the Eastern and Western worlds by bringing the culture of Indonesia to Western readers.

 Ari J. Adipurwawidjana, literary critic: Work that can help us, as a nation, recover from the historical and cultural amnesia we are suffering from is worthy of a translation.


After the presentations, Jun and Maya were busy signing copies of Dasamuka.


The last session of the conference was a panel discussion moderated by Elisabeth Arti Wulandari from the Sanata Dharma University between delegates of the University of San Tomas, in the Philipines, Maria Luisa Torres Reyes and Joyce Arriola,  Inseop Shin from the Konkuk University in Korea, and myself.


Link to event:


Monday, October 16, 2017: Dalang presented at the Sanata Dharma University: “Peran terjemahan dalam menduniakan sastra Indonesia,” an open lecture and panel discussion on the role of translation in bringing Indonesian literature to the world stage, followed by a book presentation of Dasamuka.

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Link to event:


Free time in Yogya was spent retracing Dasamuka’s steps and rekindling old friendships.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017: “Mengangkat sastra Indonesia ke panggung dunia melalui penerjemahan,” an open lecture regarding translation, held at the Universitas Muhammadiyah in Purworedjo.


It is impossible to be a translator without first mastering one’s own language.


Semarang and Salatiga – October 19–25, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017: Karangturi hosted “Mencari jalan untuk meningkatkan mutu karya penulis Indonesia di masa depan,” a discussion regarding ways to raise the quality of writing, held with about 40 teachers from grade, middle, and high schools.


The basis of any writing is language. It is imperative that an author, translator, and publisher master the languages they are working in. Language gives us a voice. Without a voice, we will no longer be.


No trip home would be complete without spending a few days at my friends Lisa and Harjanto Halim’s house and sharing a meal with Inge Widjajanti and her husband.



The highlight of every trip to Indonesia is the time spent “home on the ranch” at Havana Horses.



Surabaya – October 26–November 1, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017: “The importance of literary translation,” a translation workshop hosted by the English Department of Petra University.


Link to event:

Local color and subtle, cultural, eccentric nuances are often lost when a translation has been edited by an editor who only has a mastery of the target language.


It’s always fun to share a meal with old friends.

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Bandung – November 1–8, 2017

Friday, November 2, 2017: Padjadjaran University hosted an open lecture, “Peran bahasa dalam perjalanan rohani dari perantau menjadi diaspora,” followed by an enacting of excerpts from Dasamuka by Junaedi Setiyono, Dalang’s latest publication, and student discussions of Potions and Paper Cranes, the English language translation of Perempuan Kembang Jepun by Lan Fang and my novel, Only A Girl. The background of the room provided by the university is my favorite! (see photo).

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Link to Event:

As an Indonesian diasporan, I consider it my duty to protect and honor the Indonesian language.


In Bandung I enjoyed Pak Ari’s gracious hospitality



Jakarta – November 9–16, 2017

November 13, 2017: “A seminar on language and literature” (“Seminar nasional bahasa dan sastra”), held by Universitas Pamulang.


It is sad that, at this moment, we as a nation, who have successfully reclaimed our independence, now voluntarily subject ourselves to enslavement and domination by everything Western to the point that we even sacrifice our language by allowing the heavy infiltration of the English language.

A highlight of this event was the student presentation of a poem by Muhammad Wildan, a docent at the Faculty of Indonesian Literature at Pamulang, titled, “Negeriku” – “My Country” — of which I quote in closing:

My Country-

Can you try

Telling me

What, exactly, is happening to you,

My dear country…



A Glimpse Into Indonesian History Through Story



Photos by Gemah Rahardjo and Robert Kato.

On Saturday, August 19, 2017, Florey’s Books, located in Pacifica, CA, hosted the event, “A Glimpse Into Indonesian History Through Story” which offered us the opportunity to introduce our nine titles and present Maya Denisa Saputra’s English translation of Dasamuka by Junaedi Setiyono, our newest publication.

Proprietor Aaron Schlieve has been a staunch Dalang supporter and instrumental in helping us promote Indonesian literature. In addition to presenting Dalang’s titles we also discussed Indonesia and its rich culture.


Dalang Publishing goes to Oregon



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Ibu Lian visited Portland, Oregon, to attend the Historical Novel Society Conference (June 22-25, 2017). Despite her packed conference schedule we managed to introduce Dalang’s publications to the Multnomah Public Library, Broadway Books, Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, and Wallace Books. Powell’s City of Books­ – the biggest independent book store in the world, already carries Dalang’s titles and we simply dropped in to establish personal contact.

We hope to see our books soon readily available in Oregon.

Book Launch for Dasamuka by Junaedi Setiyono


The Consul General of Indonesia for San Francisco, Bapak Ardi Hermawan, and his family, along with Bapak Hanggiro Setiabudi, Consul of Economic Affairs, and Bapak F. Bernard Loesi, Consul for Information and Socio-Cultural Affairs, honored us with their presence at the launch of Dasamuka, our ninth book.

Sylvia Tiwon, professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley; Virginia Shih, librarian of the SOEA Library at UC Berkeley; and George Anwar, lecturer at the Dept. of Engineering at UC Berkeley, were among the thirty guests.


Selamatan for Dasamuka


Saturday, May 20, 2017, was a happy day for Dalang Publishing. After a year of hard work, the time had arrived to welcome our new title, Maya Denisa Saputra’s English language translation of Dasamuka by Junaedi Setiyono.

The Selamatan was held at the Highlands Recreation Center in San Mateo, California. We were honored by the presence of Bapak Hanggiro Setiabudi, Bapak F. Bernard Loesi, and Ibu Riena Sarjono, all from the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco. Among the other guests were Sylvia Tiwon, professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies at University of California, Berkeley; Virginia Shih, librarian of the SOEA Library at UC Berkeley; and Cynthia Rider, librarian of the Main Burlingame Public Library in Burlingame, California.

A Selamatan is a traditional Javanese dinner that is held to welcome anything new, as well as to give thanks to and ask the blessings from anyone who had anything to do with bringing about the new entity.

It is customary to serve nasi tumpeng – a yellow cone-shaped rice dish symbolic of a mountain of fortune (hence the gold color) along with side dishes that represent the bounty of the land, the sea, the skies, and creations by man. It is an ancient Indonesian belief that Gods reside on top of the mountain, and it is customary to serve the top of the cone /tumpeng to the guest of honor.

On behalf of Bapak Ardi Hermawan, the Consul General of the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco, Bapak Hanggiro Setiabudi offered the opening remarks at the Selamatan, during which he acknowledged and praised Dalang’s efforts to bring Indonesian literature to America.

Ibu Lian then presented him with copies of the original and English language translation of Dasamuka.

Endorsements from academia in Indonesia as well as the United States can be found on the book’s back cover and in its title section of the Our Books page of Dalang’s website,


After Ibu Lian presented the tumpeng to Pak Hanggiro, everyone enjoyed the traditional Indonesian dinner of yellow coconut rice, spicy beef stew, tumeric spiced fried chicken, shrimp and eggs with chili sauce, spiced fried tempe and dried fish, and a mixed-vegetable and shredded coconut salad. Hot tea, Kue Pepe (sweet rice cake), and Lapis Surabaya (Indonesian layered pound cake) were offered for dessert. Keroncong music was played in the background during the dinner.



A PowerPoint presentation with visuals of historical figures and local settings mentioned in Dasamuka, followed by a short reading from the English translation by Ibu Lian, ended the Selamatan.


2017 Association for Asian American Studies Conference


April 13–15, 2017, at Portland, Oregon.

Dalang Publishing, along with 18 other publishers, was an exhibitor at the AAAS Conference. The conference theme was “At the Crossroads of Care and Giving.”

We were very lucky to be placed between Duke University Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, as we drew a lot of interest from visitors to these well-known presses.

Among those who showed interest in our titles were researchers and professors of Southeast Asian studies and many librarians. The book sales generated by the conference were pleasing.

Aside from being an exhibitor, we also attended the conference to support Asri Saraswati, a lecturer at Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, who is currently a doctorate student from the State University of New York at Buffalo. One of the topics in Asri’s presentation was “How does Indonesia’s colonial and post-colonial politics of race coincide with the Asian American experience?” Unfortunately, there were only three Indonesians attending the conference. Yet, based on the questions and conversation at Asri’s presentation and the visitors to our booth, we feel that there’s a great interest in Indonesia.



Entrepreneur Club’s Business Innovation Showcase Day


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March 10, 2017, at Foothill College in Mountain View, California.

Thanks to the efforts of Indonesian students in charge of the event, Dalang Publishing was offered a table to display its titles. Tegishtha Andhika Iman Soewarno, Aleisha Fiona Nurfirman, and Cindy Tjuarsa’s interest in our work and support of our mission is commendable.

Without the collaboration of the young men and women who are the future of our nation, it would be extremely difficult to achieve our goal of honoring our country by introducing Indonesian literature to the Western World.


I hope the end of 2015 finds you looking back on a productive year and with high hopes for the new year ahead.

Dalang is exiting 2015 on a high note. Not only were we successful in our attempt to introduce the best of contemporary Indonesian literature to the San Francisco Bay Area, our efforts also generated interest back home in Indonesia. The Jakarta Globe featured an article about how our program “A Taste of Indonesian Literature Today” brought the authors and translators of Daughters of Papua (Tanah Tabu) and Kei (Kei) to the San Francisco Bay Area in the fall.

At first the generous article by Nikki Potnick made me a little self-conscious, but the more I thought about it, the more I was filled with gratitude for the many individuals who have supported my efforts to give Indonesian writers, aided by their countrymen translators, a chance to bring the intricate history and diverse culture of our country to American readers through their stories.

I am especially grateful for the work and the heart that Anin and Stef, Erni and Hayat put into making “A Taste of Indonesian Literature Today” a week during which we Indonesians proudly demonstrated our ability to produce good books and tell our country’s stories in voices representative of our people.

I’m currently reviewing manuscripts to select for our 2016 publications. I hope we will all proudly carry the momentum we’ve created into 2016 and beyond.

My best and warmest wishes that 2016 brings the fulfillment of new hopes and dreams!


Frankfurt Book Fair: October 14 – 18 2015
Indonesia Guest of Honor

We presented eight titles as our contribution to support the promotion of Indonesian Literature at this event.

Our books were shown in the Indonesian Pavilion as well as in the American Collective stand.

Several events preceded the fair.

Asri Saraswati, a PhD student at the University at Buffalo SUNY and lecturer at the University of Indonesia, spoke at “70 years of textual Production in Indonesia: Cultural Traditions informing Modern Productions,” a symposium at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, October 12-13, 2015 and used Only a Girl in her presentation titled, “Writing in Mobility: The Work of Indonesian Writers in America” part of a panel session on “Indonesia in local and global trajectories.”

Manneke Budiman, Lecturer at the Literature Department, University of Indonesia, mentioned us in his interview by The Conversation regarding the fair.

October 4 – 10, 2015
Impressions of the San Francisco Bay Area

After a week of hard work it was time to play.

Julie Anderson, our super-duper San Francisco guide, turned everyone quickly into seasoned SF walkers as she introduced several “pockets” of the city. During the course of three days we visited SF Civic Center, Union Square, China Town and North Beach, Ghirardelli Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Erni found words on a sidewalk of North Beach near City Lights Books where Paul Yamazaki affirmed his support of Dalang’s publications by spending time with us.

We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and after a picnic lunch at Marin Headlands, drove through Golden Gate Park with a stop at the De Young museum and the Conservatory of Flowers.

We took the ferry to Alcatraz and then walked to the Ferry building for lunch.

One can’t visit CA without driving along its coast, visit a lighthouse, and see a redwood tree. We spent a day among the redwoods at Big Basin National Park and on our way home stopped at Pidgeon Point Lighthouse off HWay 1.

John Steinbeck being one of Anin’s favorite American authors and Salinas within driving distance of home base, we visited the Steinbeck Museum, had lunch at the old Steinbeck house, and rode across “the fat of the land” on a hay trailer. Yessenia Guzman and Eric Mora, respectively the Tour and Marketing Coordinator of the Steinbeck Center, edged our day in Steinbeck country with their care.

Tamara Donovan generously shared her time and knowledge of Stanford’s campus. A brief history of Stanford was followed by a leisurely walk that took us to from the Oval to the White Plaza, the Main Quad, the Canter Center, Hoover Tower and ended in the Papua sculpture garden.

Visiting America on October 31 meant carving pumpkins for Halloween.

The SF Bay Area is known for its diversity in food offerings but among the musts tries for first time visitors are learning to eat an artichoke, enjoy a pancake breakfast, as well as indulge in a juicy steak and roasted vegetables.

Anindita Thayf – author of Daughters of Papua (Tanah Tabu):

I learned more about America, its people and their culture. It turns out that there isn’t a big difference between us.

John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. Meeting him even though only through memorabilia was my highlight of our week of sight-seeing.

My translator, Stefanny Irawan, and I, were paired by Dalang Publishing and we only met one day before leaving together on our trip to CA. However, by working together through the challenges we encountered during our work week, we developed a close friendship which we took home along with lots of memories and learning experiences.

Our shopping trip to SF China Town ended at City Lights Book Store, a SF landmark that carries our books.

Stefanny Irawan – translator of Daughters of Papua (Tanah Tabu):

It was one of the most unforgettable experience I have ever had. Meeting new people who were eager to discuss Indonesian literature I had translated was surely exciting. We had good, meaningful conversations not just about the work but also about Indonesian culture and society in general. As an Indonesian and a translator, this whole experience is invaluable.

It has been swell! I wish we had more time to explore the SF Bay Area.

A whole beach full of pebbles? Wow.

It’s my first and I made a happy pumpkin!

Erni Aladjai – author of Kei (Kei):

I learned a lot about American attitude from people like Julie and Tamara. Once they committed to help they gave it their all. It was a great experience to be welcomed with such interest in our work.
Our visit to the Alcatraz prison was the most enlightening for me. It caused me to reflect and be thankful for all that I have, my freedom and my independence.

Nurhayat Indriyatno Mohamed – translator of Kei (Kei):

I went on this trip feeling that I would be contributing to a wider understanding of Indonesian literature, and was pleasantly surprised to go home feeling intellectually, morally and spiritually enriched. Bu Lian for the Nobel Prize!

I particularly liked the excursion to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. Nothing says “San Francisco” quite like the Golden Gate Bridge. Walking across the bridge, with the city skyline in full, panoramic view the entire time, was a special experience. Being trained in engineering, I also have an appreciation for just how much of a technical marvel the bridge is even today and especially when it was first built.

Walking through The Big Basin redwood forest was an amazing experience. Just to be among these gigantic trees and knowing that they’ve stood there for centuries, some of them were there even before the arrival of Columbus to the New World, is a humbling experience and just goes to show how small we are in the grand scheme of things.

For sheer scenic beauty there is little that can compare to the sunset we enjoyed at the pebble beach of Point Lobos. The colors were enchanting and the play of light across the water and rocks made for a beautiful, almost tactile visual experience.

September 28 – October 3, 2015
A Taste of Indonesian Literature – An unprecedented event featuring Indonesian writers and their translators visiting the San Francisco Bay Area under the auspices of their American publisher

By Gemah Rahardjo

We recently brought two Indonesian authors, Erni Aladjai (Kei) and Anindita S. Thayf (Daughters of Papua), and their translators, Nurhayat Indriyatno Muhamed and Stefanny Irawan respectively, to present their work in the San Francisco Bay Area through a series of presentations titled, A Taste of Indonesian Literature. Nearly a year in the making, the highly successful presentations included a series of book discussions, Q&A sessions, and book signings at bookstores, public libraries, and renowned universities, culminating in a reception at the Indonesian Consul General’s mansion.

Forest Books in San Francisco had the honor of hosting the first in the series of events. This special bookstore, located in the city’s Japan Town, boasts an impressive collection of rare books. Store owner Gregory Wood handpicks every title, and we at Dalang Publishing are grateful and proud that Forest Books carries all our titles.
F. Bernard Loesi, Consul for Information and Socio-Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco, honored us with his presence and provided the opening remarks.

The SF Examiner announced the event.

Professor Christian Jochim of San Jose State University and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library hosted the second event. Several SJSU faculty members attended, and we were also honored by the presence of Prof. Danilyn Rutherford of UC Santa Cruz, who wrote the back cover endorsement for Daughters of Papua.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. public library in the heart of San Jose offers an international section devoted to literature from around the world. Upon visiting the Southeast Asian section, we were disappointed to find only two rather small Indonesian-English dictionaries on the shelf dedicated to Indonesian literature. Emily Chan, the librarian who conducted our tour of the facilities, said they had never been offered original works of Indonesian literature and she did not know where to start looking.
Ibu Lian immediately offered to provide the original Indonesian language versions of the eight titles in Dalang’s catalogue, the English versions of which the library already carried. When Ms. Chan accepted the offer on the spot, we cheered this historic and proud moment for all of us. In the near future, the original Indonesian-language versions of Dalang’s publications will sit proudly on the shelf marked “Indonesia.”

On the third day of the tour we visited Berkeley.
The event at UC Berkeley was hosted by Ibu Ninik Lunde, a Bahasa Indonesia lecturer at the university. Professor Sylvia Tiwon, who wrote the back-cover endorsement for Kei, and Virginia Shih, the librarian in charge of the university’s Southeast Asian collection, were among the attendees, along with other faculty and students, most of whom were Indonesian. The seating around a large table was conducive to the relaxed atmosphere of a large meeting and focused on discussion of the novels Kei and Daughters of Papua. As the attendees enjoyed the lemper, kue pastel and kerupuk, Indonesian snacks we provided, the warm sense of camaraderie in the room offset the cold drizzle outside.

After the event, we had to rush off to a lunch invitation from a group of mostly American enthusiasts of Bahasa Indonesia. Julie Anderson, our generous hostess and facilitator of the group, welcomed us warmly, along with other members of her group. We were treated to a potluck meal the members had prepared, and truly enjoyed the opportunity to sample different delights of American home cooking.

University Press Books, a bookstore near the UC Berkeley campus, hosted us later that evening. The event was well attended by reading enthusiasts interested in stories from and about Indonesia and its history. A lively discussion followed the presentation.

Friday, October 2, was our fourth day of events. This time we were at the Foster City Library. This large, comfortable, and neatly laid-out public library offered a great environment to enjoy books. Librarian Cynthia Rider, a staunch supporter of Dalang Publishing, was our gracious hostess. She provided a warm welcome and introduced us to the audience comprised of two local authors, book club facilitators, and avid readers. Cynthia’s warmth and grace were a wonderful addition to the event.

Jane Johnson welcomed us in her home for a presentation to her book club. Everyone enjoyed the cross culture interaction and engaged in a lively discussion of the work.

The Wisma Indonesia in San Francisco was the ideal location to finish our series of presentations on A Taste of Indonesian Literature in the SF Bay Area. We are honored and grateful, and consider the invitation to hold our closing event at the Wisma a significant token of the Indonesian government’s support for Dalang Publishing’s endeavors to promote Indonesian literature. In his opening remarks Consul General Ardi Hermawan acknowledged the importance of the events of the past week and expressed his good wishes to the group, as well as his hope that A Taste of Indonesian Literature would be followed by many similar events.

We ended our work week with a dinner at the Cliff House.

Anindita S. Thayf
Anindita S. Thayf, the author of Daughters of Papua (Tanah Tabu), courageously brought to light the story of the suffering and subjugation of the people of Papua’s Baliem Valley caused by Freeport, a giant US mining company. Anin revealed that it was the women and children who bore the brunt of the suffering. “We in Indonesia have created a situation where women are submissive and obedient to men. We allow this notion to dictate our lives; we accept this condition as something that will never change. But the truth is that everything can be changed,” Anin stated during a Q&A session.
Author Story interviewed Anin: Read the Interview.

Erni Aladjai
Erni Aladjai, the talented young author of Kei (Kei), chose to focus on the issue of sectarian violence in the Kei Islands in the late nineties. What makes her take on the issue intriguing is that she looks beyond the sectarian angle and raises the importance of the tenets of Ken Saa Faak as instrumental in allowing the people of Kei to regain peace. Ken Saa Faak, a set of traditional tenets of wisdom practiced for generations by the local islanders, in this case was able to quell the violence brought about by religious differences without the need for outside interference. “In addition to this, I want my book to inform its readers, especially those outside of Indonesia, that among the 17,000 Indonesian islands, there are these two tiny islands called the Kei islands,” Erni said.

Stefanny Irawan
Stefanny Irawan, the translator of Daughters of Papua, captivated the audience with her dramatic reading. For Stef, a translator’s talent is revealed in the way he or she is able to convey local or regional concepts to foreign readers without compromising the author’s voice or the ambience of the story.
Author Story interviewed Stef: Read the Interview.

Nurhayat Indriyatno Mohamed
Nurhayat Indriyatno Mohamed, better known as Hayat, is the translator of Kei (Kei). With his fluent English and easy manner, he easily connected with the audience. Hayat explained that the time element is the main challenge he faces when translating Indonesian into English. Given that Bahasa Indonesia does not have tenses like the English language, the time aspect in any narrative must be translated with care.

At the conclusion of each of our events we came away with the sense that Indonesian literature remains an exotic beast for most Americans, and that Indonesian books are difficult to obtain. This is not because Indonesian literature is unable to hold its own on the global stage, but because so little has been done to provide and support accurate translations.

In addition to good writing, hard work, and of course efforts to engage as much as possible with the literary community in America, there still needs to be greater moral support from the government and people of Indonesia in order to achieve the dream of showcasing Indonesian literature globally. Recognition of and pride in a nation’s literature can only be achieved through heightened awareness and with the support of its people.

A Taste of Indonesian Literature Today was our attempt to introduce Indonesian literature to readers in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing a venue for talented young writers and their translators to present their work to the public. We take pride in knowing that our publications represent the very best of Indonesian talent. The authors, the translators, and even the cover designers, are all Indonesian.

Saturday, August 29, 2015 – Indonesian Day at Union Square, San Francisco

Harmony in Diversity.

Our display offered a glimpse at Indonesian literature. A poster of the Soempa Pemuda on October 28, 1928, served as a reminder of the first time a group of young Indonesian nationalists acknowledged the importance of language and declared, … “Thirdly- We the sons and daughters of Indonesia, respect the language of unity, Indonesian.”

We honored the growth of Indonesian literature and celebrated its position as this year’s guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair by showcasing a poster of the Indonesian Frankfurt Book Fair logo along with a random listing of 92 Indonesian literary icons of then and now.

We exhibited 83 titles of 46 Indonesian authors published by 10 Indonesian publishers. 5 American publishers over time published 10 Indonesian authors and 15 titles of which 5 are novels by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, one of Indonesia’s internationally best known authors.

Notable visitors included The Consul General of Indonesia, the honorable Ardi Hermawan, leaders in the Indonesian community, Olivia Sears, the founder of the Center for the Art of Translation, and Julie Anderson the facilitator of an Indonesian language group in Berkeley.

Saturday, August 22, 2015 – The Los Gatos Library Literary Fair

The Los Gatos Library once again brought together authors, publishers, librarians and educators on the Civic Center lawn and we were given the opportunity to introduce Indonesian historical fiction. Our brags of the morning were that Indonesia will be the Guest of Honor at this year’s International Frankfurt Bookfair and the publication of our newest title, Cloves for Kolosia, the English language translation of Aimuna dan Sobori by Hanna Rambe.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 – Selamatan and Launch for Love, Death and Revolution by Mochtar Lubis and The Red Bekisar by Ahmad Tohari rekindles the fire of the Indonesian Revolution.

Ardi Hermawan, the Indonesian Consul General in San Francisco, honored us by attending the event with his family and staff.

Love, Death and Revolution has been dedicated to the memory of Anwar Rawy, an esteemed elder in the Indonesian community who passed away last year. His family was presented with a copy of the book.

Virginia Shih, Librarian for the Southeast Asia Collections at UC Berkeley, was among Dalang’s staunch supporters and leaders of the Indonesian community.

Photos by Larry Stueck

Wednesday, January 18, 2015 – Introduction to Kei and Daughters of Papua at University Press Books in Berkeley

This well attended event was graced with the presence of a visitor from home. Yayah Khisbiyah, from the University of Muhammadiyah in Surakarta is also the Program Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilizations in Jakarta.

THREE-BOOK LAUNCH brings stories from Maluku and Papua

Book Launch for

Kei by Erni Aladjai
Daughters of Papua by Anindita S. Thayf
Aimuna and Sobori by Hanna Rambe

Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia

1111 Columbus Street, San Francisco, California
(415) 474-9571 ext. 242

Saturday, November 8, 2014, Selamatan for Kei by Erni Aladjai, Daughters of Papua by Anindita S. Thayf and Aimuna and Sobori by Hanna Rambe

Adhering to Indonesian tradition, we asked for blessings and celebrated our new titles with a selamatan. We were graced with the presence of the Consul General of Indonesia for San Francisco, Bapak Ardi Hermawan and his family as well as Ibu Karina Adisty Iqwan, Vice Consul of Economic Affairs and Pak F.Bernard Loesi, Consul for Information and Socio-Cultural Affairs.

We introduce Indonesian novelists to American readers

After the acquisition of Only A Girl from PublishAmerica, we began promoting our titles as an ongoing activity, with author presentations at private book clubs, bookstores, and libraries in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently we are seeking similar exposure for My Name is Mata Hari.

Dalang Publishing’s presentations are unique because we not only introduce the book, but also present a brief introduction to the country of Indonesia. The criteria for a Dalang publication is the story must be set in Indonesia and involve Indonesian characters. With each new book we bring another piece of Indonesian culture and history to the Western world. Continue reading

Congress Of Indonesian Diaspora

The first Congress of Indonesian Diaspora was held in Los Angeles on July 6 – 8, 2012. The excellent leadership of the Indonesian Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, brought together representatives of the Indonesian government and individuals of Indonesian heritage scattered across the world. Professionals as well as laymen acknowledged and nurtured their common heritage in an atmosphere filled with nostalgia, hope and ambition. It was impossible to escape the feelings of wonder and amazement while exchanging information, views and experiences with kinfolks as far away as Saudi Arabia and as near as Arizona, with students and retirees alike. Continue reading

Colonial and Post-Colonial Connections in Dutch Literature

Last month I attended The 2011 UC Berkeley Conference in Dutch Literature.  For me, the highlight of the almost three-day conference was Friday, September 16, 2011, which was dedicated to Indonesia. It did not surprise me Indonesia was given center stage. After all, it had been the greatest asset of the Dutch crown. Continue reading

Only A Girl has a new publisher

As of August 1, 2011 Only A Girl will be published by Dalang Publishing  and distributed by Ingram. The title will also be carried by Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The new ISBN number is 978-0-9836273-7-1.

While the content has remained the same, there is a marked improvement in the rendition of the cover art as well as the overall physical quality of the book. And, to top all of this, the list price has come down from $27.95 to $17.95!

In Indonesia, PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama will remain the publisher for Menantang Phoenix, the Indonesian translation.