September 29, 2018
By Intan Paramaditha
I am excited to announce that I will participate in Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Singapore Writers Festival in November. Many thanks to HKILF and SWF for inviting me and co-organizing the trip.
In both festivals I will speak about Apple and Knife, my new translated collection of short stories first published by Brow Books (Australia, March 2018; UK forthcoming in December via Harvill Secker).
Some of the discussion topics include the female gaze and the flesh, horror, and the uncanny. I will also give a creative writing workshop in Hong Kong.
HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL WRITERS FESTIVAL
In her short story collection, Apple and Knife, Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha offers a series of darkly humorous fairy tales and ghost stories with a decidedly feminist, political bent, exploring the mystery, perils and power of occupying a female body…. Learn more
When it comes to writing explicitly about sex and bodies—about the sounds, smells and substances—Jenny Zhang and Intan Paramaditha both have a lot to say…. Learn more
It’s never too late to pick up the pen—and you can start with this writing workshop for beginners, led by fiction writer Intan Paramaditha…. Learn more
SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
FESTIVAL PASS EVENT
11 Nov, Sun 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
About Apple and Knife
Translated from the Indonesian language by Stephen J. Epstein
Stories are drawn from Sihir Perempuan (2005) dan Kumpulan Budak Setan (2010) published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
Inspired by horror fiction, myths and fairy tales, Apple and Knife is an unsettling ride that swerves into the supernatural to explore the dangers and power of occupying a female body in today’s world. These stories set in the Indonesian everyday – in corporate boardrooms, shanty towns, on dangdut stages – reveal a soupy otherworld stewing just beneath the surface.
This is subversive feminist horror at its best, where men and women alike are arbiters of fear, and where revenge is sometimes sweetest when delivered from the grave. Dark, humorous, and vividly realised, Intan Paramaditha’s stories speak of distinctive aspects of women’s lives and peel off the myths surrounding them.
“Intan Paramaditha, who mixes fairy tales and gothic ghost stories with feminist and political issues, shakes up her readers, showing that her fiction is not beholden to a single interpretation. Her short stories reveal that the most terrifying thing in life is not one of the supernatural ghosts that populate her work, but human prejudice. As far as I’m concerned, only writers of genius are able to convey a layered and nuanced world, and Paramaditha is one of them.” (Eka Kurniawan)
“Intan Paramaditha has turned the fairy tale on its head. Instead of helpless maidens, these fables are bursting with fierce and fabulous females, determined to exact justice in an unjust world. As the enigmatic title suggests, the writing is juicy and incisive. Every story is a gem and, as with all good fairy tales, there are important lessons to be learned.” (Melanie Cheng)
“Apple and Knife challenges contemporary national ideas about womanhood. All the stories in this book speak of distinctive aspects of women’s lives, and peel off the myths surrounding them.” (Norman Erikson Pasaribu Mekong Review)
“The stories in Apple and Knife are raw, fun, excessive, and told with a wink, but they are underlaid with an unsettling awareness of the common fate of “disobedient women”.” (Emily Bitto The Monthly)
“These stories are shockingly bold and macabrely funny, powerfully defamiliarising the cultural lore of patriarchy. What makes them special is their lack of interest in representing women as victims – here, the taboo of feminist anger is flagrantly and entertainingly broken.” (The Saturday Paper (Australia))
About the Author
Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian writer now based in Sydney. She is the acclaimed author of two short story collections, Sihir Perempuan (2005) and Kumpulan Budak Setan (2010, with Eka Kurniawan and Ugoran Prasad), from which the stories of Apple and Knife are drawn, as well as the novel The Wandering (2017). Her fiction writings have received awards in Indonesia, including the Kompas Best Short Story Award, Tempo Best Literary Fiction of the Year, and Khatulistiwa Literary Awards shortlist. She holds a PhD from New York University and teaches Media and Film Studies at Macquarie University.