The Sea Speaks His Name

Leila S Chudori, John McGlynn
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In the twilight hours of a day in March, Biru Laut was ambushed by four unknown
men. Together with his friends, Daniel, Sunu and Alex, he was taken to an unknown
location. For months they were held captive, interrogated, beaten and tortured into
answering one sole question: who stood behind the rebellious student movements
at that time?
Biru Laut’s younger sister, who, along with other family members of kidnapped
student activists, struggled to put the pieces of the puzzle together and to find
answers to their never-ending questions.
While her parents appear to be in denial and remain hopeful that Biru Laut will
one day come back to sit at the family table again, Asmara Jati engages alongside
the Missing Persons Commission Team led by Aswin Pradana in order to strive to
find traces of those who went missing and to record the testimonies of those who
Biru Laut’s stirring story and that of his friends, is the story of the desaparecidos of
Indonesia. It is the story of a momentous – and still seldom written about – period
of Indonesian history which led to the end of dictatorship in Indonesia.


About the Author:

Leila S. Chudori is Indonesia’s most prominent and outspoken female journalist.
She worked at TEMPO News Magazine from 1989 to 2018. She is also considered
one of Indonesia’s boldest story-tellers and is a well-known figure in the
Indonesian literary scene. She is the author of several anthologies of short stories,
three novels, TV and film scripts. Her novel Pulang (Home) was translated into
English, French, German, Dutch and Italian. Today, Leila lives in Jakarta with her
daughter, Rain Chudori-Soerjoatmodjo.


John McGlynn has translated or edited over 100 works, including translations of several of works by Pramoedya which he published using his pen name, Willem Samuels, including The Mute’s Soliloquy. According to Tempo (Indonesian magazine), “Over the years, McGlynn worked to produce English translations of Indonesia’s top literary works, collaborating with a diverse group of translators, such as Harry Aveling, an authority on Indonesian and Malay literature.

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The Sea Speaks His Name
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