Times have certainly changed since celebrated writer Ayu Utami released her first novel Saman, which has always been associated with numerous superlatives in the vein of “bold” and “groundbreaking” since its first publication in 1998.
The two terms may seem to be nothing more than clichéd over-hyping buzzwords when applied to other writers. With Ayu, though, those words are earned, even if she always maintains her humility by insisting that fearlessness has never been her goal in writing.
“That is actually the comment I get the most about my works. People have often asked me, ‘How can you be so fearless? Where do you find the guts?’” she said during an audience with booklovers on her new novel Lalita at Galeri Salihara in South Jakarta on Thursday evening.
“What most people never realize is that I have never felt bold. I’ve never intended to br...