Generously sponsored by the Bagri Foundation, this is the second part of our Indonesia in Focus series, which explores the idea of what it means to be a literary labourer in contemporary Indonesia – one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multilingual countries.
On 24 October, we will be joined by Indonesian up-and-coming novelist Nuril Basri who was born in a small village in Tangerang. Basri has worked as an internet shop operator, cashier, private tutor, a secretary in a Korean Embassy and account manager. He now divides his time between working as a waiter in hotels and cruise ships and writing his novels. In 2017, he received a grant from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture to visit London as a writer-in-residence writing residency from September to November.
Nuril experiments with genres and themes such as comedy, drama, horror and coming-of-age stories. Some of his works are My Favorite Goodbye (2016) and Halo, Aku Dalam Novel (2009). His works titled, Dosa (2012), Romantis (2015), Enak (2016) and Sunyi (2017) have been translated and published in Malaysia.
Dosa which was previously published in Malaysia by Buku FIXI in 2012 has been translated into English by John H. McGlynn and published by the Lontar Foundation under the title, Not a Virgin (2017). In this coming-of-age novel four Indonesian high-school students seek to discover what their future will bring and find answers to their questions about sexuality. With characters ranging from cross-dressing hairdressers, drag queens, and rent boys to fanatic Muslims and low-life security personnel, the action of this tragicomedy moves between an Islamic boarding school and gay bay in Jakarta, and in so doing illuminates the mind set and yearning of a new generation of Indonesia.
Nuril Basri will be joining us to talk about his hot-off-the-press novel, Not a Virgin, with reference to gender discrimination in Indonesia through his own experiences. Nuril is a serious person who likes to joke so there will be plenty of insightful banter that will keep you chuckling. Basri will be in conversation with Dr Ben Murtagh, Senior Lecturer in Indonesian and Malay at the South East Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at SOAS.
The talk will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception ending no later than 21.00.
To book tickets for this event, please click here
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General Admission: £10, Concessions: £8, Asia House Arts Members: £5