The Jakarta Globe Reading Club hosted its first event, "Pram: the Man and his Legacy," at artspace Dia.Lo.Gue in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Saturday (12/05), featuring a talk show on the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer – one of Indonesia's greatest novelists and a political prisoner who spent 12 hellish years on Buru Island, Indonesia's own gulag.
Pram's English translator, the Indonesianist Max Lane, and Richard Oh, novelist and filmmaker, discussed many interesting aspects of Pram's works and Pram the man, including how he ended up spending half of his adult life in prison, how he used to recite his famous "Buru Quartet" novels to his fellow prisoners in Buru and his revolutionary use of Melayu Pasar ("Market Malay") in his stories and novels.
More than a hundred people attended the event, including dozens who brought books for a bookswap. The Jakarta Globe Reading Club will hold regular events throughout this year, follow our Instagram @jakartaglobe to make sure you don't miss out.
Pram's translator Max Lane, center, was 'recalled' by the Australian Embassy where he used to work for translating the Buru Quartet novels. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A crowd in excess of one hundred, mostly young people, attended the Jakarta Globe Reading Club's first event. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Lane met with Pram and his publishers Hasjim Rahman and Joesoef Isak many times to immerse himself in the 'spirit' of the Buru Quartet novels. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Richard Oh, right, is working on a film adaptation of 'Perburuan' ('The Fugitive'), Pram's first novel. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The event was held at Dia.Lo.Gue, where 'NamaKu Pram,' an exhibition of the author's personal letters, is being held. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Lane explains how after the 1965-66 anti-communist pogrom, Pram spent 14 years in prison and exile in Buru. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
People swap books after the talk show. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The bookswap will be a regular event for The Jakarta Globe Reading Club. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
People swap books in both English and Indonesian. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Beritasatu Media Holdings executive editor Anthony Wongsono joins the bookswap. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
From left to right, Jakarta Globe editor Mikael Johani, Max Lane, Richard Oh, Beritasatu Media Holdings executive editor Anthony Wongsono. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Lane now runs 'Open Page,' a reading room and writers' residency center in Yogyakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Filming for Richard's adaptation of Pram's 'The Fugitive' will start this year. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)