Nh. Dini

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Nurhayati Srihardini Siti Nukatin (born in Semarang, Central Java, February 29, 1936), better known by her pen name Nh. Dini (sometimes NH Dini in English), is an Indonesian novelist and feminist. She is the youngest of five children of Saljowidjojo and Kusaminah. One branch of the family can be traced back to the Bugis of South Sulawesi.


Dini says that she began to love writing when she was in the second grade. Her mother was a batik artist, inspired by Javanese culture. She would read stories and poems to Dini that were written in the traditional Javanese alphabet. Her talent for writing fiction was soon confirmed. At the age of fifteen she read her poems on RRI (the state radio network) in Semarang.

In 1956, while working as a flight attendant for Garuda Indonesia Airways, she published a series of stories called Dua Dunia (Two Worlds). She also worked briefly as a radio announcer.

In 1960, she married Yves Coffin, French consul to Kobe, Japan. Two children were born of their marriage; Marie-Claire Lintang and Pierre Louis Padang (commonly recognized as Pierre Coffin). As the wife of a diplomat, she went with her husband to Japan and then to Phnom Penh. She arrived in France in 1966. Later, they moved to Manila. In 1976, they moved to Detroit.

Dini separated from her husband in 1984. She reclaimed her Indonesian nationality in 1985. For many years, she operated a non-profit agency devoted to juvenile literacy.[1]

She received the S.E.A. Write Award in 2003. Since then, she has lived in Sleman, near Yogyakarta. She currently resides in a nursing home and has had to suspend work on a novel and her memoirs due to worsening attacks of vertigo.[2]

In English[edit]

  • A Journey (short story) in "Black Clouds Over the Isle of Gods", edited by David Roskies. M. E. Sharpe (1997) ISBN 0-7656-0033-1
  • The Chicken (short story) in "Diverse Lives" edited by Jeanette Lingard, Oxford Asia (1995) ISBN 967-65-3100-6


  1. ^ Biographical sketch by David Roskies
  2. ^ The Jakarta Post, December 27, 2008