Leila Chudori, third from right, at the press conference for her 'Coming Home with Leila Chudori' podcast in Jakarta on Wednesday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Writer Leila Chudori Launches Literary Podcast


SEPTEMBER 07, 2019

Jakarta. Writer Leila Salikha Chudori rolls out a new literary podcast called "Coming Home With Leila Chudori" to encourage more Indonesians to read serious literature.

Leila, 56, a journalist and novelist, streams the pre-taped podcast every Wednesday. The first episode aired on Aug. 21.

"I'm more of a passionate a reader than a writer. It upsets me that people now would rather scroll through social media than read books. No wonder Indonesia is ranked 61st out of 65 in a list of countries with the least number of readers," Leila said on Wednesday.

Coming Home With Leila Chudori brings listeners deep into unique book universes created by their authors and encourages them to go back to the page and away from their smartphone screen. 

The podcast has three regular segments. "In Contemplation With" has Leila chat with book-loving celebrities including filmmaker Mira Lesmana, actress Dian Sastrowardoyo, entrepreneur Handri Satriago and magazine and newspaper editors Petty S. Fatimah and Nezar Patria.

"In Conversation With" features conversations with writers, comic artists and poets, including Dee Lestari, Seno Gumira Ajidarma and Ahmad Fuadi, about their creative process.

The third segment, "In Consideration With," is a book review program, where Leila engages in lively debates with critics over new releases.

Actress Dian Sastrowardoyo, a guest in the second episode, said she wants young people to read more books to develop their imagination.

"Reading allows us to build a theatre of the mind. This digital platform allows readers to connect deeper with their favorite writers," Dian said.

Dwi Kartika Yudhaswara, a singer and a big fan of Leila, said the podcast has helped him understand the mind of writers.

"The podcast is great. You can find out things you can't find in the book. Podcast is very popular with young people now. I just hope it won't replace books. People still need to see and feel what they're reading physically, not just hear the words," Dwi said.

The first season of Coming Home With Leila Chudori will have 12 episodes. A second season is still in talks.

"Next week I will discuss '21 Lessons for the 21st Century' by Yuval Noah Harari with Nezar Patria. That book is booming right now," Leila said.

The Indonesian podcast scene is currently dominated by men, with most of the listeners between 19 and 30 years old. Leila said she wants to offer a different kind of podcast that will appeal to more listeners. 

Coming Home With Leila Chudori can be streamed on Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and third-party platforms such as Breaker, Stitcher, Pocketcast, Castbox and Overcast.