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Elizabeth Pisani

Pre-Order Ground Zero (Autographed Limited Edition)

  Ground Zero: When the Journey Takes You Home After ten years wandering the world, Agustinus Wibowo has finally come home. He is now forced to face a reality that he has always feared. His mother is on the brink of death, as cancer ravages her body. Not unlike Scherazade who reads through one thousand and one tales over as many nights, the traveller recounts his journey to his ailing mother, who has barely ever left their little village in Java, Indonesia. He talks about the illusory homeland of China, the holy Tibet, the spiritual Nepal, the dramatic India, the struggling Pakistan, and the surviving Afghanistan. And along with these stories, his mother finally finds a voice to recount her own life journey. Fragments of their lives come together, two distinctive roads spanning time and distance only to converge, to become a heart-wrenching tale of love and survival. “Relating his travels to his dying mother, Wibowo beautifully captures the bittersweet experience of solo travel.  The excitement of discovery, the shadow of a changeling identity and the low-grade thrum of the road not taken combine to produce this lyrical journey through time and place.” –Elizabeth Pisani, author of Indonesia Etc.: [...]

October 21, 2015 // 3 Comments

London Book Fair 15 April 2015: Penulis di Tengah Pameran Buku

Saya mendapat kehormatan menjadi salah satu penulis yang dikirim untuk berbicara di stand Indonesia pada forum London Book Fair 2015, yang diselenggarakan pada 14-16 April 2015 di Olympia, Kensington, kawasan barat London. Pameran ini diikuti 25.000 pelaku industri dari 124 negara, termasuk Indonesia yang membawa 200an judul pilihan dari berbagai penerbit. Indonesia, dalam partisipasi perdananya di ajang ini, menempati stan 5B140, yang berukuran hanya 20 meter, terletak jauh di ujung belakang Hall B yang berjarak sekitar 20 menit berjalan kaki dari pintu utama. Praktis, di tengah lautan puluhan ribu penerbit, stan Indonesia sangat tersembunyi dan nyaris tenggelam. Sementara di sekeliling stan Indonesia adalah stan dari negara-negara lain yang tidak kalah sepi, seperti dari Abu Dhabi, Slowakia, Al Ain, Dubai. Berbeda dengan pameran buku yang pernah saya hadiri, London Book Fair murni bisnis, bukan ajang jumpa pembaca atau penikmatan sastra. Para pengunjung adalah para pemain industri seperti penerbit, pedagang hak cipta, agen literasi. Kelompok pengunjung lainnya adalah para pekerjanya seperti penulis, penerjemah, desainer, jurnalis. Pengalaman pertama menghadiri pameran buku seraksasa ini sangat mengobrak-abrik pemikiran saya. Di balairung utama Grand Hal, berjajar stan-stan dari penerbit besar dunia: Penguins, Harper Collins, Oxford, juga negara-negara Eropa seperti Prancis, Skandinavia, Jerman. Ini adalah zona yang [...]

September 28, 2015 // 8 Comments

Indonesia: A Blaming Nation

This happened again. The police arrested one of the leaders of the anti-graft body. The President seemed helplessly requested the police not to make any controversial moves, as they have already done in the near past. The request seemed went to deaf ears. The public outcry was directed to the President, blaming him too weak to sit on the position. It is a huge contrast to the enormous support the Indonesian public has shown to Joko Widodo, a.k.a Jokowi, during the presidential election, less than a year back. He was duped as “Indonesian Obama”, “a new hope”, “someone from us”. Unlike other predecessors or other president candidates, he does not come from political elites or military family, nor does he lead any political party. His uniqueness as an “outsider”, a “working class and really working” governor, has produced an unprecedented euphoria among Indonesian public. Suddenly, people from the elites to the roadside vendors, from Chinese-ethnic merchants to Papuan mothers, from his fanatical supporters to his dire opponents, talk about only one name—his name: Jokowi. But during Jokowi’s first months as Indonesian president, the high hopes started to crush. The public survey shows the public support has decreased. Back in the [...]

May 3, 2015 // 9 Comments

CNN Indonesia: Penulis Indonesia Berjaya di London Book Fair

Vega Probo, CNN Indonesia Jumat, 17/04/2015 12:25 WIB   Jakarta, CNN Indonesia — Stand Indonesia di ajang London Book Fair (LBF), meriuh saat digelar acara bincang-bincang Indonesian Travel Writing: When Indonesians See The World yang menghadirkan penulis Agustinus Wibowo, pada Kamis (16/4), pukul 11 waktu Inggris. Agaknya publik London mulai jatuh hati pada kisah-kisah seru yang dipaparkan oleh penulis Indonesia. Sebagaimana diketahui, Agustinus adalah penulis buku best seller berjudul Selimut Debut, Garis Batas, dan Titik Nol. “Kalau ditotal sekitar 30 orang yang mendengarkan acara, baik di tempat duduk maupun dari luar stand. Di luar stand juga diputar video-video Afghanistan yang menarik pengunjung untuk datang,” tulis Agustinus melalui surel kepada CNN Indonesia (17/4). Stand Indonesia, 5B140, menampilkan 223 judul buku pilihan dari berbagai penerbit. LBF adalah ajang jual beli rights buku. LBF diramaikan 25.000 pelaku industri dari 124 negara. Selain itu, juga digelar acara diskusi dan pameran foto. “Stand Indonesia terletak di corner dengan lemari buku di sisi-sisi tembok yang menampilkan buku anak-anak, sastra, dan fotografi. Ruangan terbuka di keempat sisi tembok sehingga pengunjung bisa mengalir dari berbagai arah,” kata Agustinus. Pengalaman Lebih Berharga Ketimbang Uang Pria yang kenyang bertualang ini tak tampil sendirian, melainkan bersama Elizabeth Pisani, penulis Indonesia Etc. [...]

April 17, 2015 // 9 Comments