Numeros Rojos

Interview about my works and my thoughts with Spanish magazine, Numeros Rojos, Nov 2014 edition

Pleasure in the social and political

I can’t answer “what’s your favourite novels” question. But i have books that change me & my view forever: Prison Notebooks by Antonio Gramsci, The Archaelogy of Knowledge by Michel Foucault, Orientalism by Edward Said. Here is my interview with The Jakarta Post —>

The 37th Douarnenez Festival, France

Interview with Ouest France :

Bersuara Dengan Sastra

Majalah Annisa, Juli 2014

Face of Indonesia in literary works

These three novels highlight Indonesia and how Indonesians cope with authoritarian regime, modernism and capitalism as well as nation building, including when they have to deal with differences in religions, ideologies, ethnicities and even races since after the independence from the colonial powers until today. The first novel, The Years of the Voiceless tells a story of a difficult relation between a mother and her daughter during a time under Suharto’s totalitarian regime. The second novel, The Outcast, highlights the plight of the banned Islamic sect, Ahmadiyah, in Indonesia through the eyes of an Ahmadi woman. The third novel, Bound, describes how a transgender fights for her freedom, and in general how Indonesians deal with transgender issues, minority groups and religious extremism.

The novels were launched at Arts House Singapore, July 17th 2014, hosted by Asia Pacific Writers & Translators Association.

Okky Madasari at her books launching in Singapore, July 2014

Kekuasaan dan Kebebasan

Apa yang paling dibutuhkan dalam proses berpikir? Kebebasan. Apa yang paling dibutuhkan untuk berkarya? Kebebasan. Apa yang jadi syarat utama kemajuan sebuah peradaban? Kebebasan. Dan apa yang paling ditakutkan oleh kekuasaan? Kebebasan.

Sejarah perjuangan manusia adalah sejarah merebut kebebasan, sementara sejarah kekuasaan adalah rangkaian pengaturan dan kontrol atas kehidupan banyak orang. Di tengah tarik-menarik itu, kebudayaan – antara lain melalui wujudnya: pemikiran, bahasa, karya seni – menjadi medan pertarungan. More


Does free will truly exist? Does man truly exist?

Okky Madasari explores the seminal questions of mankind and humanity in her latest novel.

A struggle arises between the two main characters, Sasana and Jaka Wani, in the search for freedom from all restraints––from those of the mind and body, to restraints imposed by tradition and family, society and religion, to economic domination and the shackles of authority.

*) BOUND is the english edition of Pasung Jiwa. Avalaible July 3rd in bookstores, online bookstores,, etc

Kapitalisme, Islam, dan Sastra Perlawanan

Tesis ini membongkar bagaimana kekuasaan bekerja membentuk diskursus arus utama novel-novel Indonesia hari ini. Melalui Foucauldian discourse analysis, ditelusuri asal-usul terbentuknya diskursus dominan dalam tiga genre novel: novel islami, percintaan, dan perlawanan. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa kapitalisme bersama-sama dengan negara menjadi aktor utama pembentuk diskursus utama. Novel islami yang pada awalnya otonom, pada akhirnya pun harus tunduk dan berkompromi dengan kepentingan kapitalisme dan negara demi tetap mendapat ruang dalam wacana arus utama. Sumbangan utama tesis ini adalah membuka diskusi kritis terhadap diskursus kesusastraan Indonesia seraya memberi pemahaman bahwa ruang perlawanan senantiasa terbuka, baik terhadap wacana kesusastraan itu sendiri maupun terhadap kekuasaan pada umumnya.

Capitalism, Islam and Critical Literature

This thesis aims to find out and explain how power works to form Indonesia’s existing novels currently become the main/ruling discourses within the society.Using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, the thesis seek to find the origins of the formation of dominant discourse in three novel genres: Islamic, romance and critical/debunking novels. The research finds that capitalism together with the state become the two main factors behind the creation of such main discourses. Islamic novels which were autonomous at the initial stage later fell into the trap of capitalism and compromised itself and were cooptated to serve the interest of capitalists, markets and the state in an attempt to stay in the main discourse. The Islamic novels even form a coalition with the two actors in one ultimate goal of creating the main discourse which is seen beneficial for all of them. The main contribution of this thesis is allowing and opening critical discussion on main discourses in Indonesian literature while providing an insight and understanding that there will always be room of resistance and being critical against ruling discourses within te country’s literature as well as against power in general.

*) Tesis ini bisa diakses di perpustakaan UI dan akan segera diterbitkan dalam versi buku.

Prev Older Entries