Echoing the voice of women through works by female authors

The novels ‘Gincu Sang Mumi’ (‘Mummy’s Lipstick’) by Tamura Toshiko and ‘Air Susu Ibu’ (‘Mother’s Milk’) by Nora Ikstena have been translated into Indonesian. (IO/Umamah)

Through the novel ‘Gincu Sang Mumi’ (‘Mummy’s Lipstick’) by Tamura Toshiko published by Mai Publisher, Asri shows Toshiko as one of the female writers who tries to criticize the position of women in the art scene. In the book, Toshiko tells the story of a Japanese woman in the early 20th century who cannot represent her position as a writer without a strong male figure behind her. The woman struggled to survive in the Japanese literature scene where a work was evaluated from the sole perspective of men.

The same thing but with a different story is also summarized in the novel ‘Air Susu Ibu’ (‘Mother’s Milk’) by Nora Ikstena, translated by Windy Ariestanty and published by Spring Publisher. The work tells the independence felt by Latvian children and women during the Soviet occupation. Set in the 20th century, women didn’t have much choice, until a bottle of nourishing milk becomes a symbol of freedom.

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The two novels were discussed in ‘Perempuan Menerjemahkan Perempuan’ (‘Women Translating Women’) book discussion organized by Patjarmerah, a literacy movement that is passionate about spreading interest in reading and trying to provide equal access to reading. Quoting @patjarmerah_id, Tamura Toshiko and Nora Ikstena are named as two female writers who echo women’s voices through their very relatable writings. (un)