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Kill The Radio by Dorothea Rosa Herliany

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Bilingual English / Indonesian edition

Translated by Harry Aveling, with an introduction by Linda France

Dorothea Rosa Herliany is one of the most important contemporary poets writing in Indonesia. This volume presents a selection of her recent verse in the original Bahasa Indonesian and in English translation.

Herliany is typical of the second generation of Indonesian writers which emerged after the mid-1980s during the New Order of President Suharto. This newer generation knew little of the colonial Dutch civilization and were a generation removed from the revolutionary ardour of the foundation of the nation: to be 'Indonesian' was their natural right. They were born and educated in the regions outside of Jakarta and have chosen to remain there. They were educated in the Indonesian language (usually to tertiary level) and the literature on which they were raised was also written in Indonesian.

Kill the Radio contains a range of poems, many of them personal, with a decidedly feminist edge to them, Others grow form Herliany's experience of, and concern for, an Indonesia undergoing rapid social and political change during the last five years of the 1990s.

Herliany's writing reveals a struggle to understand human experience in all its reality not as an ideal but as a fact that displays profound suffering and hurt, without, apparently, any hope of redemption...

Dami Toda, Indonesian critic

Herliany's poetry presents text of exceptional difficulty and exceptional interest. Her work is highly coloured, morbid, even shocking, and significant for its metphorical tours de force and paradoxical glories of unwilling illuminations.

Judith Rodriguez, Australian poet

Herliany's poetry is intent upon opposing personal and political oppression. She does not attempt to mend, her poetry does not offer a vision of a final Utopia. Instead, it takes the first step towards change by waking, inciting, shattering.

Annie Kantar, American poet

The energy and violence expressed in the title of this collection run through the work like a ruptured vein, fragile and vulnerable, but necessary for survival. Underneath this troubled surface, there is so much tenderness and openness, in shocking contrast to the 'other', represented by the world of politics and war, that the speaker of the poems is aware that she is in danger of annihilation.

Linda France, British poet



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