The Jakarta Post
Literary figure Arswendo Atmowiloto has died at age 70 due to prostate cancer. (JP/P.J. Leo)
Literary figure and senior journalist Arswendo Atmowiloto, known for his work Keluarga Cemara, has died at age 70 due to prostate cancer.
Arswendo wrote the story of Keluarga Cemara in the 1970s about a family far from the capital, with honesty as its main message.
The book was adapted into a television series that was popular among Indonesians from the 1990s to early 2000s.
He was also known for his writings Indonesia From The Air and Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI (Betrayal of the Communists).
Kompas deputy editor-in-chief Tri Agung Kristanto, who is also Arswendo’s neighbor, confirmed the passing of his colleague. “It is true [that he passed away] at 5:55pm [on Friday], his son Sonny Wibisono told me,” Tri said as quoted by kompas.com.
Arswendo is survived by his wife Agnes Sri Hartini and three children Sonny Wibisono, Pramudha Wardhana and Cicilia Tiara.
A public mass will be held at St. Matius Church in Bintaro, Pondok Aren, on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a funeral at the San Diego Hill cemetery in Karawang, West Java. Until then, Arswendo's body will remain at his home in South Petukangan, South Jakarta.
Arswendo was born in Surakarta, Central Java, on Nov. 26, 1948. He was known as a fiction and nonfiction writer as well as journalist at Kompas daily and Hai magazine.
The director and screenwriter of the film version of Keluarga Cemara, Gina S. Noer, said she was surprised by the passing of the artist, saying, “I owed much to Arswendo, he was the person that influenced me in making art […] he was a person that gave freedom to new creators.” (awa/asw)