In Other Words
A wide-ranging and beautiful collection of essays from one of world literature’s most important writers.
Goenawan Mohamad is one of Indonesia’s foremost public intellectuals, and this translated volume of essays—spanning from 1968 to the present day—demonstrates the breadth of his perceptive and elegant commentary on literature, faith, mythology, politics, and history.
Through the worst days of Indonesia’s authoritarianism, in the face of the trauma of great violence and the chaos of democratic transition, Goenawan has never lost faith in the act of writing. Many of his essays from In Other Words were first published for Tempo, the Indonesian weekly magazine that he founded in 1971. His writings bring nuance and sympathy to difficult histories, introduce doubt to damaging certainties, and apply clarity of thought and action to times of great upheaval. Activist, journalist, editor, essayist, poet, commentator, theater director, and playwright, Goenawan Mohamad brings an unparalleled and wide-ranging perspective to the world. These essays, translated by his long-time collaborator Jennifer Lindsay, reveal a vision both uniquely Indonesian and completely universal, and indisputably establish him as one of the leading political thinkers and cultural observers in the world today.