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’27 Days of Heartbreak’: Documenting post-breakup coping process

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, September 11, 2017 | 01:44 pm
’27 Days of Heartbreak’: Documenting post-breakup coping process

The cover of '27 Days of Heartbreak'. (

27 Days of Heartbreak, a uniquely-styled fiction documenting a heartbreak process was launched Sept. 8 at Kinokuniya Bookstore, Plaza Senayan in South Jakarta by Gramedia Pustaka Utama. The book is written by Stella Ang and illustrated by Marisa Santosa.

The book tells a story of an unnamed character who is going through a post-breakup process, narrating every day that goes by with letters she writes to the lover who left her. Every letter depicts the character's thoughts as she attempts to cope with her pain. 

Although it is fiction, 27 Days of Heartbreak is based on Stella’s blog. She started writing the blog in the process of relocating to her new office back in 2012, saying that throwing out things inspired her to write.

“There were many cardboards for things that would be thrown out, left and carried [to the new office],” Stella said. “So I thought this is what happens to people who break up after having been in a long relationship. These things are no longer 'ours' anymore, but 'mine and yours.'”

During her early posts, Stella never thought that she would write until day 27. “I wrote consistently [for 27 days] because many people liked it and I was about to celebrate my 27th birthday,” Stella stated.

Siska Yuanita, a senior editor for fiction section at Gramedia Pustaka Utama, eventually discovered Stella's blog and decided to turn the blog into a book. "This is among the few English books published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama that are written by Indonesian writers," Siska said.

The decision included adding illustrations by Australia-based Indonesian illustrator, Marisa Santosa, who also happens to be a regular reader of the blog. Before getting involved in the project, Marisa used to make simple sketches in response to the writings.

“When the blog was about to be turned into a book, I decided to make music playlists to make [the illustrating process] easier,” said Marisa, adding that her favorite illustrations are on the sixth, 18th and 20th day. “[Stella and I] have different taste. Perhaps what I had sketched was different from what Stella had envisioned, so we made the playlists to adjust our moods.”

Read also: Pottermore launches immersive digital experience for ‘Harry Potter’ fans

(from left to right) writer Stella Ang and illustrator Marisa Santosa.(from left to right) writer Stella Ang and illustrator Marisa Santosa. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

27 Days of Heartbreak is available in Gramedia book stores for Rp 119,000 (US$ 9.00). Those who purchased the book are advised to read it while listening to the book’s playlist on Spotify. (asw)