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THE SEA SPEAKS HIS NAME (working title)

Leila S. Chudori

  • Original Title: LAUT BERCERITA
  • Publication date: October 2017
  • Publisher: KEPUSTAKAAN POPULER GRAMEDIA
  • Country: ID
  • 300 print pages
  • Factual/True story

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: Indonesia
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Looking back on one's life, Search for the truth, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Conspiracy, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Power, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Commitment, Friendship, FAMILY, Siblings, Mourning, Life choice, Death, Resilience, Facing failure, Manipulation, Injustice, Rivalry, Totalitarian regime, Loyalty, CHARACTERS, Strong Female Character, Corruption

Pitch

The story of the desaparecidos of Indonesia, in the late 1990s. A group of friends who secretly resist the dictatorship of Suharto in the late '90's are 'disappeared' by government forces, and their family and a few remaining friends honour them.

Comments

Leila S. Chudori (Jakarta, 1962) is Indonesia's most prominent and outspoken female journalist. She works at TEMPO News Magazine of Indonesia since 1989. She also is considered one of Indonesia's boldest story-tellers and is a well-known figure in the Indonesian literary scene. She is the author of several anthologies of short stories, a novel, TV and film scripts.

Summary

In this novel, based on historical facts and multiple interviews led with actors of these turmoiled times, award-winning author Leila Chudori first follows the character of Biru Laut (Blue Sea), a student activist who was kidnapped and eventually went missing in 1998, a few months prior to the downfall of then president Soeharto.
In the twilight hours of a day in March, Biru Laut was ambushed by four unknown men. Together with his friends, Daniel, Sunu and Alex, he was taken to an unknown location. For months they were held captive, interrogated, beaten and tortured into answering one sole question: who stood behind the rebellious student movements at that time?
The second half of the novel shifts the perspective to Asmara Jati, Biru Laut’s younger sister, who, along with other family members of kidnapped student activists, struggled to put the pieces of the puzzle together and to find answers to their never-ending questions.
While her parents appear to be in denial and remain hopeful that Biru Laut will one day come back to sit at the family table again, Asmara Jati engages alongside the Missing Persons Commission Team led by Aswi Pradana in order to strive to find traces of those who went missing and to record the testimonies of those who returned.
Biru Laut’s stirring story and that of his friends, is the story of the desaparecidos of Indonesia. It is the story of a momentous - and still seldom written about - period of Indonesian history which led to the end of dictatorship in Indonesia.

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  • Author’s biography

    Leila S. Chudori (born 1962) is Indonesia's most prominent and outspoken female journalist. She has worked at TEMPO News Magazine of Indonesia since 1989. She also is considered one of Indonesia's boldest story-tellers and is a well-known figure in the Indonesian literary scene. She is the author of several anthologies of short stories, a novel, TV and film scripts.