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Leila S. Chudori’s ‘The Sea Speaks His Name’ released by Penguin Random House SEA


Penguin Random House SEA announced on Friday the release of veteran journalist and author Leila S. Chudori’s true-story-inspired novel The Sea Speaks His Name.

Translated from Leila’s Laut Bercerita by John McGlynn, the first half of the book follows a student activist named Biru Laut, who was kidnapped and eventually went missing in 1998, a few months prior to the downfall of Suharto. The second half of the novel focuses on the struggles faced by Biru Laut’s younger sister, Asmara Jati, and other families of kidnapped student activists, as they seek answers to never-ending questions.

Laut Bercerita has been adapted into a 30-minute short film of the same title. Helmed by Pritagita “Prita” Arianegara and written by Leila herself, it was screened for the first time at the 2018 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2018 in late October.

Considered one of Indonesia’s boldest storytellers, Jakarta-based Leila has authored three novels and several anthologies of short stories, as well as TV and film scripts. Her novel Pulang (Home) was translated into English, French, German, Dutch and Italian. 

Established in 2018, Penguin Random House SEA is part of the world’s largest trade book publisher Penguin Random House. Headquartered in Singapore, the company included Indonesian writer Laksmi Pamuntjak’s third novel Srikandi (Fall Baby) in its inaugural catalogue launched in February last year. (kes)

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