Djenar Maesa Ayu

by Jeannie from Jakarta


Djenar Maesa Ayu is one of the famous persons in my country, Indonesia. Many people in Indonesia know who she is. She is a successful writer and director. She learned writing by the guidance of her mentors, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Budi Darma, and Sutardji Calzoum Bachri, all of whom are amazing writers. Her books had attracted many readers.

I really like her. She is beautiful and brilliant. Her books inspired me to be a good girl. Her brave and tough personality and her uninterruptible independence along with her works make me realize about the other side of the world.

Djenar Maesa Ayu was born in Jakarta on January, 14th 1973. She was married to Edi Widjaya and had two daughters. Their daughters are Banyu Bening and Btari Maharani. Unfortunately, she had already divorced. Apparently, this divorce made them happier than before.

She has published 4 books. Her first book is Mereka Bilang, Saya Monyet! – They Say I’m A Monkey! Her second book is Jangan main-main (dengan Kelaminmu), her third book is Nayla. And her last book is Cerita Pendek Tentang Cerita Cinta Pendek – A Short Story About A Love's Short Story. Mereka Bilang, Saya Monyet!. Jangan main-main (dengan Kelaminmu), and Cerita Pendek Tentang Cerita Cinta Pendek are her collections of her short stories. And Nayla is her first novel. Her stories published into many magazines and newspapers. These include KOMPAS Newspaper, The Jakarta Post, Republika, Tempo Newspaper, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Lampung Post.

Her first book had already been published for 8 times and this book was short-listed for Indonesia’s lucrative literary honour, the Khatulistiwa award 2003. While her short story Menyusu Ayah became The Best Short Story 2003 in Jurnal Perempuan (Women’s Journal) and this story was translated by Richard Oh (the owner of QB Worldbooks) into English with title Suckling Father to be published again in Jurnal Perempuan (Women’s Journal) English version.

Her second book, Jangan main-main (dengan Kelaminmu) was published on January 2004. There is no doubt about Djenar’s rising success in popularity and in literary prestige. Just two days after the book launch of this story, a second print was published. It is an amazing achievement for Indonesian fiction.

Her courageous literature works turn her into a lovable and yet hated figure. Most of Djenar's writing about lifestyles which are tabooed by the people. Readers who haven't known about her will eventually get annoyed, struck by her short stories written innovatively and experimentally.

Djenar Maesa Ayu only offers a mirror to her readers. An honest mirror which visualizes what actually going on is in front of it. A mirror which has been forbidden to be viewed.

Page created on 2/27/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/27/2008 12:00:00 AM