Indonesian Publishing

New Freedoms, Old Worries, and Unfinished Democratic Reform

in Social Analysis

Indonesia is in the midst of a publishing renaissance. The number of published titles doubled in 2003 to a sum greater than any year under Suharto. Titles unimaginable 10 years ago now line bookstore shelves: books about Marx, books by and about ethnic Chinese, and books with the words ‘sex’ or ‘homosexual’ and ‘Islam’ in the same title. In 2000, the publisher of Nobel Prize–nominated author Pramoedya Ananta Toer released a special Emancipation Edition of the previously banned Buru Quartet, named after the island on which the Suharto regime had imprisoned the writer for almost 14 years.