In a conversation with author Leila Chudori at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali, Debra Yatim pointed out that Indonesia’s deadly political upheaval that began in 1965, leaving hundreds of thousands dead, gets a couple of paragraphs in national history textbooks but is the subject of more than 20 works of fiction. Those include Chudori’s Home, chronicling Indonesian political exiles and their families left behind. My favorite is Laksmi Pamuntjak’s The Question of Red, a retelling of a piece of the pan Asian Ramayana tale in The Year of Living Dangerously and its unresolved aftermath.
Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is Asia editor at large for iGaming Business, a longtime contributor to Forbes, columnist for Asia Times and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about TV news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook, former Twitter @MuhammadCohen and LinkedIn.