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Avianti Armand, Women Whose Names Were Erased

Translated by Eliza Vitri Handayani.

Reading Holy Books is like entering a labyrinth. In that labyrinth fact and fiction are tangled. Worlds intertwined with words. And those words present a chunk of a universe, which is incomplete and not entirely truthful, it hides some things that we do not yet know. The poems in this book are lifted off the Holy Books, The Old Testament.

The book is rendered with women who are present, alive, and weaving history along with the men, but in all those stories the women remain behind veils. Avianti Armand chose to rewrite the stories of 5 most intriguing, ambiguous, and treacherous women from it. This collection of poems is not an attempt to bring the women out of the labyrinth, but an invitation for us to meet them through other winding, twisted, and unpredictable paths.

‘Fables taken from the ribs of archetypes, retold lusciously and reshaped with a necessary defiance, this book is an un-erasure, a journey of whimsy with a knife at your throat.’ Khairani Barokka

‘Armand's poetry has always been rendered by a double character: aesthetical as well as political, narrative as well as lyrical, doubting and then fulfilling.’  Zen Hae

‘Avianti Armand’s poems invite us to enter the beauty of the mysterious orifice  in the Book of Silence. With a perspective and ambiguity that disturbs reasons and imaginations, Avianti Armand has reconstructed and revived the historical women’s movements hidden behind biblical narratives.’ Joko Pinurbo

‘Avianti Armand’s feminist restagings of Old Testament scenarios are both vital and hypnotic. This is a powerful book that taps into something essential about women’s experience.’ Emily Stewart

Avianti Armand works as an architect since 1992. Her design, Rumah Kampung, won an award from the Indonesian Association of Architects in 2008. Her short story collection, Negeri Para Peri, came out in 2009, and one story, “Pada Suatu Hari Ada Ibu dan Radian”, was selected as Kompas Best Short Story. Her collection of poems Perempuan Yang Dihapus Namanya came out in 2010 and went on to win the Khatulistiwa Literary Award 2011. She is also the curator for Indonesia Pavilion in Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, and continues to do her curatorial works for architecture exhibitions until now.

Eliza Vitri Handayani’s first novel in English, From Now On Everything Will Be Different, was published by Vagabond last year. She has published short pieces in leading Indonesian literary outlets as well as in the Asia Literary Review, Griffith ReviewWords without Borders, Exchanges Journal, Inside Indonesia. She is the founder and manager of InterSastra, an Indonesian literary translation project.

Avianti Armand, Women Whose Names Were Erased 
Translated by Eliza Vitri Handayani
 2018. 148mm x 210mm. 52pp. 
ISBN 978-1-925735-05-5
Release date: September 1, 2018

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