Sariamin Ismail : Google Doodle celebrates ‘first female Indonesian novelist’
Today, the search engine Google has shared an interactive Google doodle, celebrating the Indonesian author Sariamin Ismail’s 112th birthday, was the first female Indonesian novelist to be published in the Dutch East Indies.
Sariamin Ismail (31 July 1909 – 1995) was the first female Indonesian novelist to be published in the Dutch East Indies. A teacher by trade, by the 1930s she had begun writing in newspapers; she published her first novel, Kalau Tak Untung, in 1933.
She published two novels and several poetry anthologies afterwards, while continuing to teach and – between 1947 and 1949 – serving as a member of the regional representative body in Riau.
Her literary works often dealt with star-crossed lovers and the role of fate, while her editorials were staunchly anti-polygamy. She was one of only a handful of Indonesian women authors to be published at all during the colonial period, alongside Fatimah Hasan Delais, Saadah Alim, Soewarsih Djojopoespito and a few others.
July 31, 1909
Talu, West Pasaman, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies
Died 1995 (aged 85–86)
Literary movement Poedjangga Baroe
Notable works Kalau Tak Untung
Berdasarkan pengalaman kehidupan nyata tentang romansa yang serba salah, novel pertama Ismail—”Kalau Tak Untung”—dirilis dengan nama samaran Selaish pada tahun 1933, dan mencatat sejarah sebagai novel pertama yang ditulis oleh seorang wanita dalam sejarah Indonesia. . Buku berani ini mencontohkan penolakan terhadap tradisi Indonesia yang dianut secara luas seperti perjodohan, sebuah gagasan kontroversial yang menjadi ciri karyanya sepanjang kariernya.
In 1937, Ismail started publishing stories in “Soeara Kaoem Iboe Soematra,” a local women’s magazine that endorsed the values of the nuclear family in contrast with relationship conventions of the time. She trained into the late 60s and wrote into the mid 90s and left behind many collections of poetry, novels, and even two children’s stories.
Happy birthday, Sariamin Ismail! Thank you for inspiring a new generation of women to use their voices.