October 20, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Bringing Indonesian literature to the world

1 min read

John H. McGlynn, an American citizen who has spent 38 years of his life in Indonesia, knows more about the fields of Indonesian literature and publishing than most Indonesians. He first came to Indonesia in 1976 to learn the art of shadow puppetry, but after becoming fluent in Indonesian, decided to pursue a different career path, first as a translator and then as a publisher of Indonesian literature in translation. Holding an advanced degree in Indonesian language and literature from the University of Michigan, John is a co-founder and current chairman of the Lontar Foundation, the only organisation in the world whose primary focus is the promotion of Indonesia through literary translations. We met at his office in Jakarta to talk about Indonesia’s preparations for being Guest of Honour at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair.

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