Laksmi Pamuntjak

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Laksmi Pamuntjak
Jakarta, Indonesia
Known forPoet, writer

Laksmi Pamuntjak (22 December 1971) is an Indonesian poet, essayist, and award-winning novelist and food writer. She writes for numerous novels as well as local and international publications including opinion articles for the Guardian.[1]


Born in Jakarta, Laksmi was a Minangkabau descent from Sungai Puar, West Sumatra. Her grand father Kasoema Sutan Pamuntjak was an editor of Balai Pustaka and founder of CV Djambatan, a publishing company.[2] Laksmi who writes in Indonesian and English, is the author of two collections of poetry; a collection of poetry and prose; a treatise on the relationship between man and violence based on the Iliad; a collection of short stories based on paintings; four editions of the award-winning The Jakarta Good Food Guide;[3] two translations of the works of leading Indonesian poet and essayist Goenawan Mohamad, and two best-selling novels.

Laksmi's first novel Amba,[4] a national bestseller, was the winner of the Literaturpreis 2016.[5] It is the only German literary prize awarded to women authors from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Arab World. The novel is a modern take on The Mahabharata,[6] set against the backdrop of the Indonesian mass killings of 1965 and the Buru penal colony. The novel has been translated into English, German and Dutch. The US edition of the English translation, The Question of Red,[7] was published in July 2016. The English translation of her second novel, Aruna dan Lidahnya,[8] is due for publication in the US in early 2017. A movie adaptation based on the book is announced to star Indonesian actress Dian Sastrowardoyo.[9]

In August 2015, the German translation of Amba, Alle Farben Rot,[10] was Number 1 on the Weltempfaenger[11] list for the best international work of fiction translated into German. It has also appeared on the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's[12] list of 8 Most Important Novels of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015, De Bild's[13] Top 10 Books of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015, and the ORF Kultur (Austria)'s[14] Top 10 List for November 2015.

In 2012, Laksmi, who is co-founder of the bilingual Aksara Bookstore, was selected as the Indonesian representative at the Poetry Parnassus/Cultural Olympics,[15] the largest poetry festival in the UK,[citation needed] held in conjunction with the London Olympics. Her prose and poetry have been published in many international journals, including the preface to Not a Muse: A World Poetry Anthology[16] (2008).

Between 2009 and 2011, Laksmi was jury member of the Prince Claus Awards[17] based in Amsterdam. She has one daughter, Nadia Larasati, aged 22.

In 2016, Laksmi received LiBeraturpreis, a German literary award sponsored by the Frankfurt Book Fair, for her novel Amba.[18]




Short Stories

Philopsohical Essay/Treatise

Food Writing


External links[edit]

Pamuntjak winning Germany's LiBeraturpreis 2016

Pamuntjak's opinion articles in the Guardian

Laksmi Pamuntjak's article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Laksmi Pamuntjak's novel Amba/Alle Farben Rot No. 1 on Germany's Weltempfaenger List 2015 for Best Fiction

Laksmi Pamuntjak's novel Amba/Alle Farben Rot in German and Austrian Top 10 Best Books Lists 2015

General articles


  1. ^ "Indonesians should be too familiar with death to support executions". The Guardian. 24 February 2015. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ Cerita tentang Laksmi Pamuntjak
  3. ^ "Jakarta Good Food Guide 2008-2009 | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ "AMBA (New Edition) | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Commentary: Laksmi Pamuntjak Wins Liberaturpreis 2016 at Frankfurt Book Fair | Jakarta Globe". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  6. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Historical Indonesian novel praised in Germany". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  7. ^ "The Question of Red | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Aruna dan Lidahnya | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  9. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Dian Sastrowardoyo to star in Laksmi Pamuntjak's book-to-movie adaptation". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Alle Farben Rot | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Bestenliste Weltempfänger - Weltempfänger - LITPROM". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  12. ^ "FAZ | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Die TOP 10 der Frankfurter Buchmesse". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Die besten 10 im November 2015 -". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Laksmi Pamuntjak". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Not A Muse: Poetry Anthology | Laksmi Pamuntjak". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Prince Claus Fund - Programmes". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  18. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Laksmi Pamuntjak wins international award for female authors". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 9 May 2018.