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Indonesian novel 'Genggam Cinta' to become series in 'Jakarta Shimbun' newspaper

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, March 18, 2020  /  10:30 am
Indonesian novel 'Genggam Cinta' to become series in 'Jakarta Shimbun' newspaper

Akmal Nasery Basral's 15th work, 'Genggam Cinta' (Grasp of Love) or ‘Te o Toriatte’, tells the story of Meutia Ahmad Sulaiman, whose family died in the tsunami that hit Aceh in 2004. (

Genggam Cinta (Grasp of Love) or Te o Toriatte, a novel by Indonesian author Akmal Nasery Basral, is set to be serialized in Indonesian Japanese-language newspaper, The Daily Jakarta Shimbun.

The series will appear over the course of six months starting on Wednesday, with translations by Hanako Ikeda from Kyodo News Digital, a subsidiary of Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

“When the novel was released in Banda Aceh on Dec. 24, 2019, The Daily Jakarta Shimbun reported the news,” Akmal told The Jakarta Post via e-mail on Monday. “The journalist who wrote the story, Hanako Ikeda, was fluent in Indonesian and was interested in translating it into Japanese.”

He added that Te o Toriatte stays faithful to the novel. Although Akmal wasn’t involved on the translation process, Ikeda consulted with him on several things. “One example is the kanji (Japanese ideographs) for the characters’ names in the novel, especially for Japanese characters,” Akmal said.

Read also: Surf's up in Fukushima 9 years after nuclear accident

As the author's 15th work, Te o Toriatte was developed from Akmal’s English short story Swan of the Rising Sun (2013), which he wrote for Project Sunshine for Japan - Posters, Stories and poems about Fukushima. Project Sunshine for Japan sought to support Japan following the triple disasters (an earthquake, a tsunami and the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster) that hit the country in 2011.

Published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, the novel tells the story of Meutia Ahmad Sulamian, whose family died in the tsunami that devastated Aceh in 2004. She is adopted by a Japanese couple who lives in Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region. She faces a second tragedy when her adoptive parents pass away in the disasters.

On March 1, Akmal released a biography titled Setangkai Pena di Taman Pujangga (A Pen in the Poet Garden). The book follows the life of the late Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah, better known as Hamka, who was also the first chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

Akmal also plans to release a novel titled Dilarang Bercanda dengan Kenangan 2: Gitasmara Semesta (Joking with Memories is Prohibited: Universe of Gitasmara) which will serve as the sequel to his 2018 novel Dilarang Bercanda dengan Kenangan (Joking with Memories is Prohibited). (wng)

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