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Writer Achdiat Karta Mihardja Dies at 99

Journal | Thursday, 8 July 2010 | sundanesecorner.org

Hawé Setiawan

I heard sad news: our beloved novelist, Achdiat Karta Mihardja, has passed away in a nursing house in Canberra on Thursday morning. He was 99 and is survived by his wife Tati, who had been living with him for years at Jindalee nursing house.

It was said that the novelist underwent a medical treatment for a few days at a hospital due to a stroke. He had long suffered from diabetes. His remains will be buried at Woden cemetery later in the day.

According to Ensiklopedi Sunda (Sundanese Encyclopaedia), Achdiat was born in Garut, West Java, on March 6, 1911. After retiring as a lecturer at the Indonesia University’s School of Letters in 1961, he moved to Australia to teach Indonesian literature at the Australian National University.

Achdiat writes in Indonesian and Sundanese. His masterpiece Atheis (atheist) won the government award in 1969, and was translated into English in 1972. Director Sjuman Djaya adapted the controversial novel as a film in 1974. His last book, Manifesto Khalifatullah (the manifesto of the representative of Allah) was published when he was 94.***

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