Indonesian writer Dee Lestari at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

Bringing together more than 160 of the world’s leading authors, artists, performers and activists, the Ubud Writers
& Readers Festival (UWRF) will once again push big ideas and global issues to the forefront in Bali’s cultural capital from 26th till 30th of October.

One of the guest writers will be Dewi Lestari, popularly known by her pen name, Dee Lestari; one of the front runners in the modern Indonesian book scene. Dee initiated her career in the music industry as a singer and a songwriter. As an author, she has published nine books, including the highly anticipated Supernova series.

Dee is a one of the new generation of female writers who emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She challenged long-held norms by asserting the rights of women to sexual autonomy and taking on themes considered taboo, such as sex outside marriage, homosexuality and openly describing female sexuality.

The writing was always Dee’s deepest passion. During her teenage years, Dee started to write few young adult short fictions, sent it over to magazines for publications and got many rejections. She tried to enter writing competitions with no better luck. However, in 1993, Dee entered a writing competition and won the first prize.

But only seven years later did this Indonesian writer start to write a manuscript she believed would turn to her real, first book. It was the first installment of Supernova series, an episode titled “Kesatria, Putri, dan Bintang Jatuh” (The Knight, The Princess, and The Falling Star). In January 2001, Supernova broke the record of the fastest selling book at the time and the rest is history.■

Bali Pocket Magazine