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Jakarta Post

Okky Madasari: Pleasure in the social & political

Novia D. Rulistia
  ●   Mon, September 22, 2014

Author Okky Madasari is known for her novels that depict social and political conditions in Indonesia.

In 2010, she released her first novel, titled Entrok, the Javanese word for bra, which tells the story of military dominance during the 32-year regime of Soeharto'€™s New Order.

A year later, she released her second novel, 86, and published her third, Maryam, in 2012.

Maryam, which talks about those who are displaced due to their beliefs, won the nation'€™s prestigious Khatulistiwa Literary Award (KLA).

On a roll, Okky, the co-founder of the ASEAN Literary Festival, published her fourth novel, Pasung Jiwa (Soul in Flight) last year.

Her first three novels have been translated into English and published by the publisher Arts House Singapore with the respective titles of Bound, The Years of the Voiceless and The Outcast.

Okky, who recently finished work for a postgraduate degree at the University of Indonesia (UI), is currently preparing a book based on her thesis, Genealogi Novel Indonesia: Kapitalisme, Agama, dan Sastra Perlawanan (The Genealogy of the Indonesian Novel: Capitalism, Religion, and Rebellious Literature).

She is also busy preparing her fifth novel to be released after the book.

As a writer, Okky finds that books are her muse, reading both fiction and non-fiction. However, she finds special resonance in the works of philosophers such as the Italian Antonio Gramsci, the post-structuralist godfather Michel Foucault and anti-colonialist scholar Edward Said.


Prison Notebooks
by Antonio Gramsci

Prison Notebooks gives me a basic understanding of how power can influence people through cultural products and intellectual groups, so they will voluntarily support the hegemony.

The Archaeology of Knowledge
by Michel Foucault

This book, and Foucault'€™s other books, opened my eyes to the power that exists behind language and knowledge '€” and that they are there to actually control us.


by Edward Said

Orientalism has successfully built my critical awareness to question and see the big picture of knowledge, perspective or idea from a Western point of view and always see things from different perspective.

'€” JP/Novia D. Rulistia