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Jakarta Post

Dewi Lestari bids farewell to '€˜Supernova'€™

  • Yuliasri Perdani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, February 27, 2016   /  12:20 pm
Dewi Lestari bids farewell to '€˜Supernova'€™ The end: Author Dewi “Dee” Lestari launches the sixth and final installment of her Supernova series, entitled Inteligensi Embun Pagi (Morning Dew Intelligence). (JP/Yuliasri Perdani) (Morning Dew Intelligence). (JP/Yuliasri Perdani)

The end: Author Dewi '€œDee'€ Lestari launches the sixth and final installment of her Supernova series, entitled Inteligensi Embun Pagi (Morning Dew Intelligence). - (JP/Yuliasri Perdani)

Author Dewi '€œDee'€ Lestari has concluded her Supernova series journey, which propelled her name in the literary world, with the launching of Inteligensi Embun Pagi (Morning Dew Intelligence) on Friday.

Although there was a point when she had become tired with Supernova and had wanted it to be done and dusted, the author found that bidding farewell to the 15-year-old series was not as easy as she thought it would be.

As she wrote the final 20 percent of Inteligensi Embun Pagi, Dee realized how hard it was to say goodbye. '€œBecause the book marked the beginning of the characters'€™ togetherness which, for me, as the author, was an amazing moment,'€ explained Dee, who started her career as a singer.

The latest and final book in the series gathers the characters Dee introduced in the previous five books, Ksatria, Puteri dan Bintang Jatuh (The Knight, The Princess and the Falling Star), Akar (Root), Petir (Thunder), Partikel (Particle) and Gelombang (Wave).

In the finale, Gio, Dimas, Reuben, Bodhi and Elektra each discover their true identity and mission.

'€œI originally created the characters, such as Bodhi and Elektra, to walk on separate paths. Enabling them to interact was just sensational. Perhaps, in this way, it'€™s comparable to the meeting of Superman and Batman,'€ she said.

'€œWhen they were still '€˜ordinary humans'€™ they did not see the ongoing war, now they realize they are in the middle of it.'€

Having presented Dee with a challenge to '€œlead an orchestra'€ of characters while maintaining their personality, it took her a year to finish the final book.

'€œElektra has a unique sense of humor, Reuben uses his own F words, such as '€˜Fahrenheit!'€™ Those kinds of things have to be maintained.'€

Dee'€™s husband, Reza Gunawan, was the first to read the draft copy of the final book and he gave her valuable input. '€œActually, he only reads non-fiction. The Supernova series is the only fiction that he has read,'€ Dee said.

Supernova readers have welcomed the latest book with excitement. Ten thousand copies, individually signed by Dee, sold out two weeks before the pre-order session ended on Feb. 23.

The book hit the bookstore shelves across Indonesia on Friday. On the same day, digital copies of the Supernova series were launched on Google Play. Thanks to the pre-order session, the digital version soared, becoming the second best-selling book on the platform on Friday.

The first book in the series was launched in 2001 and with it, Dee managed to steal the public'€™s attention with her distinct storytelling style and method, through which she explored a variety of topics, from shamanism, ethnobotany (the study of the relationships that exist between people and plants) and entheogen (a substance consumed to bring on a spiritual experience), to crop circles and extraterrestrials.

Her series is often labeled as a science fiction, but Dee disagrees. '€œTo me, it is about spirituality and the existential with the support of science-like topics,'€ she said.

Although she is not fully satisfied with the film adaptation of the first Supernova book, Dee'€™s door is still open for filmmakers to bring the remaining books to the silver screen.

While she may continue her characters'€™ journey in another series, Dee '€” who has become the story consultant for Ben & Jody, the sequel to Filosofi Kopi (Coffee Philosophy), a film adaptation of her short story '€” does not want to rush. For now, she hopes to concentrate on writing other things.

'€œI am currently contemplating several ideas, each have potential. These may take a form similar to Perahu Kertas [Paper Boat],'€ she said, referring her novel about teenage lovers.

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