Leila S. Chudori

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Leila S. Chudori
Leila S. Chudori © Horlemann Verlag

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Courages literature from Indonesia

Leila S. Chudori is thought in Indonesia to be one of the boldest story-tellers of the younger generation. She studied philosophy and politics in Canada and has worked since 1989 as a journalist, for instance for the influential news magazine Tempo in Jakarta.
Leila S. Chudori is one of the few Indonesian authors who is committed and innovative as regards social abuses. Her style is unconventional and her themes include the taboo-themes of state absolutism, chauvinism and the hypocrisy of publicly upheld morality; both, her style and her themes, mark her as an exceptional figure in the Indonesian literary scene. She is nearly alone in Indonesia in writing concretely about women´s needs for self-determination and fulfilment in spite of the claims of convention.

The form and language of her short stories are varied and ambiguous. She has a deep knowledge of both her own and Western culture, especially Anglo-Saxon literature, which her study of philosophy and politics in Canada brought to her attention. In her sensitive and reflective story-telling she creates a dialogue between the traditional and the modern, referring in nearly every sentence to the universality of human rights, as for instance in her narrative about dissident jailed students waiting at night to be killed. This she contrasts with a very different type of social class by showing a discussion between a well-to-do member of the regime and his doubting daughter. His moody assertions suggest that his words are murderous rhetoric rather than neutral reflections. His daughter is not won over, and the students are killed the next day.

Being a journalist in Jakarta, Leila S. Chudori has enough material for her narratives at her fingertips and is personally familiar with social and political repression, since the critical and influential newspaper Tempo, for which she writes, was forbidden till President Suharto stood down and the paper again stood up.

Till now Leila S. Chudori has published four collections of short stories, some of which have appeared in English in anthologies and literary magazines in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Works

9 dari Nadira

Published Written,
2009
Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia: Jakarta

Bahasa! : kumpulan tulisan di majalah Tempo

Published Written,
2008
Pusat Data dan Analisa Tempo: Jakarta

Menagerie 2

Published Written,
2006
Lontar: Jakarta

Paris, June / The Purification of Sita

Published Written,
1992
Short storys. In: Menagerie I. Lontar Foundation: Jakarta

Malam terakhir

Published Written,
1989
Pustaka Utama Grafiti: Jakarta

Sebuah kejutan

Published Written,
1981
Sinar Harapan: Jakarta