Budi Darma (born April 25, 1937 in Rembang, Central Java, Indonesia) is often described as one of Indoensia’s most influential writers. During his childhood and teens, Budi and his family lived in a number of different cities in Java, including Yogyakarta, Bandung and Semarang, due to his father’s position in the postal service. Budi attended elementary school in Kudus, junior high in Salatiga and high school in Semarang, graduating from there in 1957. He then studied at the Department of English Literature in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Gadjah Mada. In 1970, he received a scholarship from the East-West Center to study humanities at the University of Hawaii, before graduating with an MA from Indiana University Bloomington in 1976. In 1980, he earned his Ph.D for his dissertation on “Character and Moral Judgement in Jane Austen’s Novels”, from the same university. He returns to Indonesia was followed by a succesion of notable appointments: between the years 1984-1987 he was appointed Dean of the English Department of the State University of Surabaya (formerly IKIP Surabaya), became a member of the Arts Council, and Rector of the Surabaya Teacher’s Training College. Budi continued lecturing at the English Department of the State University of Surabaya until his retirement, at the age of 70, in 2007. in 1983 Budi wrote the novel, Olenka, which was published by Balai Pustaka and went on to win several notable literary awards. Although Olenka is his best known work, Budi is also the author of several other novels and a number of collection of short stories and essays. Prior to writing Olenka, he published an anthology of eight short stories, called Orang-orang Bloomington [Bloomington People, 1980]. After Olenka, he wrote the novels Rafilus (1988) and Ny. Talis [Mrs. Talis, 1996].
Budi is a recipient of the Satya Lencana cultural awards, one of Indonesia’s highest civilian honors, bestowed on him in 2003, and, in 2014 the Southeast Asia Literary Council (Majlis Sastera Asia Tenggara/MASTERA) named him recipient of the top literary awards.