A small step of a longer journey

Okky Madasari at the launch of "The Years of the Voiceless", August 2013

When i wrote this novel 4 years ago, i did’t think it would be a start of my endless journey to become a novelist. That time i just wanted to write a novel – one novel of my own in my entire life, so i could say “I have a book that i write myself.”

But in the process, i found that writing novel is more than just proving i could make a book. Writing novel is not about myself. And writing novel is not a job nor duty so i can say “I finished. I have a book by myself already.” More

Women Find Their Voice In a Powerful Java Tale

By | July 26, 2013

Okky Madasari

Although author Okky Madasari won the prestigious Indonesian Khatulistiwa Literary Award for her novel “Maryam” last year, her name might not ring many bells beyond the country’s borders. Not yet, anyway.

With the translation of Okky’s novel “Entrok” (2010) into English by Hayat Indriyatno under the title “The Years of the Voiceless,” recently published by Gramedia, this gifted writer is poised to make an impact on the literary world abroad.

The story begins in the 1950s in Singget, a village in Central Java, where Marni and her mother make a living by helping vendors at a local market.

Marni dreams of being able to buy an “entrok” (Javanese for bra). Her desire to own this exquisite piece of clothing turns into utter determination to make something more out of her life than just scraping by.

Marni eventually becomes a wealthy woman, but is always regarded with a hint of suspicion and jealousy by the other people in her village.

Her daughter Rahayu grows up under different circumstances: she is able to attend school and plans to go to university. But with higher education comes different convictions: Rahayu is a firm believer in Islam, while the illiterate Marni still follows the “old way” of worshipping her ancestors, making her a sinner in her daughter’s eyes. More

The Years of The Voiceless

Marni is an illiterate Javanese woman who still practices ancestor worship. Through her offerings she finds her gods and puts forth her hopes. She knows nothing of the God brought in from that faraway land. Rahayu is Marni’s daughter, part of a new generation shaped by education and an easier life. She is a firm believer in God and in common sense. She stands against the ancestors, even against her own mother. To Marni, Rahayu is a soulless being. And to Rahayu, Marni is a sinner. Each lives according to her own creed, with nothing in common. Then come the sounds of the jackboots, constantly disrupting and destroying souls. They are the ones with the authority, the ones who play with power as they desire. They are the ones who can turn the skies and the fields red, and blood yellow, their guns ready to strike anywhere. Marni and Rahayu, these women from two generations who have never understood each other, finally find something in their lives that they agree on. Both are victims of those in power. Both fight against the guns.

*) this novel was first published in Bahasa Indonesia under the title “ENTROK”

http://www.gramediana.com/books/detail/40101130044-the-years-of-the-voiceless?locale=en

Novel sebagai Alat Perjuangan

Media Indonesia

Media Indonesia, 12 Maret 2012

DUNIA tulis-menulis sudah akrab ditekuninya sejak duduk di bangku sekolah dasar. Okky Puspa Madasari orangnya. Tulisan lepas seputar tema sosial kemasyarakatan sering ia tuangkan di majalah dinding maupun majalah sekolahnya waktu itu.

“Saya sudah lama ingin jadi wartawan. Makanya saya mengasah dengan menulis tentang keadilan, kesemrawutan bangsa, sampai masalah-masalah yang merugikan orang lain,” kata Okky saat ditemui di rumahnya, di kawasan Tanjung Barat, Jakarta Selatan, Sabtu (10/3).

Kesenangannya itu sepertinya tidak pernah pudar. Perjalanannya di bidang literasi itu kini mengantarkan Okky menjadi seorang novelis yang mulai diperhitungkan. “Waktu itu pikiranku sederhana, setidaknya sepanjang hidupku, bikin satu novel saja,” ujarnya seraya tertawa. More

Literary Biennale 2011

Reading Entrok at International Literary Biennale 2011.
- Salihara, October 19′ 2011 -

Entrok on Lenses

- Beberapa jepretan dari event-event Entrok -

Entrok : Sebuah Novel Multifaset

oleh : Prof. Dr. Apsanti Djokosujatno
Tak ada kriteria apapun untuk menilai kehebatan sebuah novel, yang oleh Bakhtin dan sejumlah pakar dunia dianggap sebagai genre yang sangat terbuka dan bebas. Tapi saya merasa pasti bahwa banyak pengamat dan ahli sastra yang akan setuju bahwa Entrok dapat dianggap sebagai novel klasik yang akan bertahan dalam ruang dan waktu. Semua aspeknya mengesankan, ceritanya kaya, penceritaan mengalir, tema-temanya kuat, dan memang sang pengarang ingin menyampaikan sesuatu dan banyak hal. Sebuah novel indah yang membuat seorang pengamat bingung memilih aspek apa yang akan difokusnya karena fasetnya begitu banyak. Sebagai novel sejarah, Entrok sangat menarik, tema feminisme dan alienasi, juga menarik, begitu pula masalah estetetik, bahasa, budaya dan masih banyak lagi yang lain. Entrok adalah novel yang “scriptoble” menurut istilah Roland Barthes, yang bisa mengilhamkan teks-teks baru di kepala pembacanya, yang makin dibaca makin menampakkan pemandangan yang luas dan beragam. More

Unveiling sexuality and social insanity

by : Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Sunday 04/11/2010

There was a time when this country had an authoritarian leader who knew nothing but the accumulation of wealth and power to maintain control over society.

He used military and civilian personnel to intimidate the people for the sake of his family and cronies. So rampant and ruthless was the oppression that the people had no choice but to go along with the abusive ruler for their own safety.

Some of that very intimidation and oppression are vividly described in Okky Madasari’s first novel, Entrok. From the pages, it is apparent that Okky, a journalist, seems to find more excitement in being a novelist than from her actual profession. More

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