The Emma Press have been awarded a LitRi translation grant for the translation of three Indonesian titles into English. They are the only UK trade publisher to be awarded funding from the program this year.
The titles they will be publishing in English translation are: Waktu Hujan Turun by Rassi Narika (to be published as When It Rains in English), Tentang Kita by Reda Gaudiamo (to be published as About Us in English), and Na Willa by Reda Gaudiamo. Waktu Hujan Turun and Tentang Kita will be translated by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi-Degoul and Na Willa will be translated by both Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi-Degoul and Kate Wakeling. Marharsi Degoul’s pamphlet Ikhda, by Ikhda was published by the Emma Press in 2014. Wakeling’s children’s collection Moon Juice was also published by the Emma Press in 2016 and won the 2017 CLiPPA.
The Emma Press have acquired world English rights for the three titles as well as two other titles by Reda Gaudiamo: Na Willa and the House in the Alley and Aku, Meps and Beps, which will be published in 2020. Na Willa and When It Rains will be published in March 2019 and will be presented at London Book Fair as Indonesia will be the market focus for 2019. About Us will be published in September 2019.
Waktu Hujan Turun/When It Rains is a picture book that was first published by Seumpama. It is written and fully illustrated by Rassi Narika and follows the story of three friends, Kira, Ana, and Ilo who embark on an adventure during a rainstorm.
Tentang Kita/About Us was published by Stiletto and contains a selection of 17 stories by author Reda Gaudiamo. The stories feature complex but relatable characters working through everyday issues, from moments of conflict in romantic relationships to longstanding family grudges.
Gaudiamo also wrote Na Willa, first published by Aikon. The book is a collection of 34 short stories and is the first in a series focused on Na Willa, a bright, adventurous young girl growing up in Indonesia with a multicultural family.
Anton Kurnia, the LitRi program coordinator, says: “Na Willa and Tentang Kita by Reda Gaudiamo are masterpieces. So is Waktu Hujan Turun by Rassi Narika. The books deserve good translations to other languages, including English, and should be published abroad so more people in the world can read these beautiful works by two of the best Indonesian writers.”
Nung Atasana, director of Borobudur Agency (a literary agency established by the Indonesian Publishers Association to manage international publications of Indonesian titles) says: “Reda is a talented writer and singer. She portrays everyday lives to be so vibrant and melodious in her stories in a masterful way. And being an author who illustrates her own children’s books, Rassi gives real joys to young kids with amusing imaginations.”
Rassi Narika is a writer and illustrator based in Jakarta. She also co-founded the publishing house Seumpama. She studied at the London School of Public Relations in Jakarta and later at Goldsmiths College in London.
Reda Gaudiamo is an author from Jakarta and has previously worked as a copywriter, journalist, and publisher. She studied French Literature at the University of Indonesia and writes literature for adults and children, focusing on short story collections. She is also known for writing and performing poetry-inspired ballads.
The LitRi translation program is led by the National Book Committee of Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture to promote the translation of Indonesian literature and works about Indonesian culture into other languages as well as increasing the visibility of books by Indonesian authors worldwide. They award grants to publishers who own translation rights for works of Indonesian literature and other titles of literary quality (including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and comic books).