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LAKSMI PAMUNTJAK is an Indonesian poet, essayist, journalist, short-story writer, food critic and novelist. 

Her first novel, Amba, translated into English as The Question of Red, is about the historical memory of 1965, in which up to one million accused Communists in Indonesia were massacred by the Suharto government.

The German and Dutch translations of the novel were published in September 2015 under the title Alle Farben Rot (Ullstein Verlag) and Amba of De Kleur Van Rood (Xander Uitgevers). In August 2015, Alle Farben Rot made it to number one on the prestigious Weltempfaenger list of best works of fiction translated into German from countries outside Germany.

Pamuntjak's second novel, Aruna dan Lidahnya, tells of Indonesia’s culinary diversity and the corrupt politics of avian flu. Both novels are national bestsellers in Indonesia. 

In 2012 Pamuntjak, who was also co-founder of Aksara Bookstore, was selected as the Indonesian representative at the Poetry Parnassus/Cultural Olympics in London, the largest poetry festival in the history of the UK, held in conjunction with the London Olympics. She now writes op-eds for The Guardian and divides her time between London, Berlin and Jakarta.


The English translation of the Prologue to Aruna and her Palate will be published in Issue 29 of the Asia Literary Review.