Mira W.

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Mira W.
Born Mira Widjaja (or Wong)
(1951-09-13) 13 September 1951 (age 66)
Jakarta, Indonesia
Occupation Author
Language Indonesian
Nationality Indonesian
Genre Romance, Children's

Mira Widjaja (Wong), or Mira W. (b. 13 September 1951), is a highly popular Indonesian author. In spite of her background being an ethnic Chinese of Cantonese extraction from the Peranakan Chinese diaspora community, her work now reaches audiences from the entire country.[1] Her father, Othniel, was among the pioneers of the Indonesian movie industry. She writes in an accessible genre, and deals with topics such as romance, crime and hospital life.[2] She was a medical doctor before establishing herself as a writer.[3]

Biography[edit]

Mira was born in Jakarta on 13 September 1951 to film producer Othniel Widjaja and his wife; she is the youngest of five children. Her brother Willy Wilianto became a filmmaker like his father. While in elementary school, she took up writing, which garnered support from her teachers. One of her teachers sent a short story Mira had written to a children's magazine, where it was published. Mira's first short story submitted on her own, entitled "Benteng Kasih" ("Fortress of Love")[4][5] in Femina magazine in 1975, while she was attending medical school at Trisakti University. Her first novel, Dokter Nona Friska (Miss Friska's Doctor) was serialised in Dewi magazine in 1977; her second novel, Sepolos Cinta Dini (As Innocent as Puppy Love) soon followed. The following year, she published Cinta Tak Pernah Berhutang (Love has Never Been in Debt).[6]

After graduating from Trisakti in 1979, she became a lecturer of medicine at Prof. Moestopo University in Jakarta. Mira's most successful book, Di Sini Cinta Pertama Kali Bersemi (Here Love First Blossomed), was published in 1980.[6] She continues to produce works, drawing from writers such as Nh. Dini, Agatha Christie, Y. B. Mangunwijaya and Harold Robbins for inspiration.[4] Mira has been cited as an early inspiration for another ethnic Chinese Indonesian female writer, Clara Ng.[7]

Pseudonym[edit]

The pen name Mira W., which obscures the Chinese-Indonesian names Widjaja and Wong, has been described by literary critic Pamela Allen as hiding Mira's Chinese heritage to better match Indonesian culture. Another writer said to use a pseudonym in such a manner is Marga T.[8] This is due in part to illwill towards Chinese Indonesians during Suharto's New Order regime.[9]

Works and adaptations[edit]

As of 1995, Mira has published over 40 novels,[6] many of which have been cinematized, including Di Sini Cinta Pertama Kali Bersemi, Ketika Cinta Harus Memilih (When Love Must Choose) and Permainan Bulan Desember (Games in December).[3][10] In total she has contributed the story to twenty-three films, making her debut as screenwriter in 1973's Jauh di Mata, directed by her brother Willy.[11]

Themes[edit]

Mira's main characters are always women,[4] and the novels often show women suffering at the hands of men, as well as from their own internal conflicts.[12] Her works also deal with gender roles and stereotypes.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Suryadinata, Leo (1993). Chinese adaptation and diversity: essays on society and literature in Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore. National University of Singapore Press. p. 91. 
  2. ^ Salmon, Claudine (1984). "Chinese Women Writers in Indonesia and their Views of Female Emancipation". Archipel. 28 (28): 149–171. doi:10.3406/arch.1984.1925. 
  3. ^ a b Sumardjo, Jakob (2007). "The Indonesian popular novel and its audience". Newsletter. Indonesia Circle. School of Oriental & African Studies. 9 (25). 
  4. ^ a b c "Mira W: Penulis Spesialis Roman" [Mira W: Writer Specialising in Romance]. TokohIndonesia.com (in Indonesian). Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Mira W". filmindonesia.or.id (in Indonesian). Konfiden Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Suryadinata, Leo (1995), Prominent Indonesian Chinese: Biographical Sketches (3rd ed.), Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 222–223, ISBN 978-981-3055-04-9. 
  7. ^ "Clara Ng: Menulis Itu Seperti Jalan Pedang" [Clara Ng: Writing is Like the Way of the Sword]. Tempo (in Indonesian). 30 August 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Allen, Pamela. "Penghayatan Lintas Budaya: Pribumi Menyoroti Tionghoa dalam Sastra Indonesia" [Intercultural Relations: Native Indonesians Overpowering Ethnic Chinese in Indonesian Literature]. Susastra. Himpunan Sarjana-Kesusastraan Indonesia: 32. 
  9. ^ Allen, Pamela. "Penghayatan Lintas Budaya: Pribumi Menyoroti Tionghoa dalam Sastra Indonesia" [Intercultural Relations: Native Indonesians Overpowering Ethnic Chinese in Indonesian Literature]. Susastra: jurnal ilmu sastra dan budaya. Himpunan Sarjana-Kesusastraan Indonesia: 35. 
  10. ^ Emmerson, Donald K. (1999). Indonesia beyond Suharto: polity, economy, society, transition. M.E. Sharpe. p. 285. 
  11. ^ "Mira W | Filmografi" [Mira W | Filmography]. filmindonesia.or.id (in Indonesian). Konfiden Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Napitupulu, Evi Yesifina Dumar (2011). Penderitaan Perempuan dalam Dua Novel Populer Indonesia (Kajian Kritik Sastra Feminis Liberalis Terhadap Karya Mira W) [Women in Two Popular Indonesian Novels (Liberalist-Feminist Critique of Two Novels by Mira W)] (PDF) (B.A.) (in Indonesian). Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. p. 196. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Napitupulu, Evi Yesifina Dumar (2011). Penderitaan Perempuan dalam Dua Novel Populer Indonesia (Kajian Kritik Sastra Feminis Liberalis Terhadap Karya Mira W) [Women in Two Popular Indonesian Novels (Liberalist-Feminist Critique of Two Novels by Mira W)] (PDF) (B.A.) (in Indonesian). Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. p. 297. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 

External links[edit]