Reading Between The Lines

Jakarta Globe | Dalih Sembiring | September 27, 2010

Of all the literary works that deal with lesbianism or have lesbians as lead characters, how many have been written in Indonesian?

Try to list them and you will realize that there are very few.

Oka Rusmini mentions lesbians in her novels “Tarian Bumi” (“Earth Dance”) and “Tempurung” (“Shell”).

Then there are Clara Ng’s “Gerhana Kembar” (“Twin Eclipses”), Herlinatiens’s “Garis Tepi Seorang Lesbian” (“The Margin of a Lesbian”), Djenar Maesa Ayu’s “Nayla” and Ratih Kumala’s “Tabula Rasa.”

Other titles include “Club Camilan” by Bella Widjaja, Brigitta NS and Donna Talitha, as well as Alberthiene Endah’s “Dicintai Jo” (“Loved by Jo”) and “Detik Terakhir” (“The Final Second”).

These are not even enough to fill a single bookshelf on lesbian literature — if Indonesian libraries had such a section.

This is why a new anthology of short stories titled “Un Soir du Paris,” French for “An Evening in Paris,” is long overdue.
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