Laksmi Pamuntjak is an award-winning Indonesian novelist, poet, journalist and food writer.
She writes widely on culture and politics for Indonesian and international publications, including Tempo, The Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt and South China Morning Post.
In 2016, Laksmi Pamuntjak’s debut novel, “Amba/The Question of Red”, won Germany’s LiBeraturpreis , an award given to women authors from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Arab World translated into German.
The novel, a modern take on the Hindu epic Mahabharata set against the backdrop of the Indonesian anti-Communist mass massacres of 1965, has been translated into several languages.
Her second novel, “Aruna dan Lidahnya”, was a bestseller in Indonesia and published in the United States in February 2018 under the title “The Birdwoman’s Palate”.
The book’s tells the story of a food-loving epidemiologist whose nationwide investigation into a curious outbreak of avian flu turns into a life-changing culinary journey. It was adapted into a movie, Aruna dan Lidahnya, which is currently playing on Netflix.
Pamuntjak’s third novel, “Fall Baby” was published in 2019 by Penguin Random House SEA. It was also published in Germany under the title “Herbstkind.” In 2020, the novel won the Singapore Book Award for Best Literary Work.
Laksmi Pamuntjak’s other books include several books of poetry, short stories, translations as well as four volumes of the award-winning “The Jakarta Good Food Guide”, Indonesia’s first independent literary good food guide series.
In March 2021, Laksmi published her latest work, “Kitab Kawin”, a collection of short stories on women in relationships. She is currently based in Jakarta and works as a language and editing consultant.
Follow her @laksmiwrites