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Nh. Dini

Nh. Dini, the pen name of Nurhayati Srihardini Siti Nukatin, was born in Semarang, Central Java, in 1936 and showed early literary promise at fifteen years of age when her poems were read on national radio. In 1956 she moved to Jakarta to train as a Garuda Indonesia Airways flight attendant, and it was here she began to move in literary circles. She soon published a small collection of stories called Dua Dunia (Two Worlds). In 1960 she married Yves Coffin, French consul to Kobe, Japan; and her subsequent works reflect the influence of her years living abroad in Japan, France, and the United States—for instance, the novels Namaku Hiroko (My Name is Hiroko), La Barka, and Pada Sebuah Kapal (On a Ship). Her novels, all narrated by a female protagonist, deal with her own culture and its conventions, especially gender relations, and female sexuality. Dini separated from her husband in 1977 and they divorced in 1984. Thereafter, in 1985, she reclaimed her Indonesian nationality and returned to Indonesia to live. For many years, she operated a non-profit agency devoted to juvenile literacy. Nh. Dini is one of Indonesia’s most prolific authors, with many novels, autobiographical works, and short story collections to her name. In 2003 she was awarded the SEA Write Award (Southeast Asian Writers Award).

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