Silenced Voices presents contemporary writing from Indonesia, and at the same time a selection of fiction, poetry and essays from throughout the Pacific region. Many of the Indonesian writers in the volume were imprisoned or persecuted for their opposition to the country's authoritarian governments and draconian restrictions on freedom of expression. Guest editor John H. McGlynn gathered the Indonesian writing, most of it banned or censored work and appearing in English for the first time.
The authors are Hersri Setiawan, Sujinah, Abdul Latief, Ahmad Tohari, Ayu Utami, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Putu Oka Sukanta, Goenawan Mohamad, and Ratna Sarumpaet. The works include fiction, poetry, essays, and courtroom testimony. In his overview essay, John McGlynn discusses the state of censorship in Indonesia as the country moves toward full democracy. The feature also includes an interview by Harold Augenbraum with Will Schwalbe, an editor at Hyperion and one of the strongest American supporters of censored Asian writers, about how Schwalbe came to publish Pramoedya Ananta Toer.
This issue also concludes a two-part symposium on translating Asian poetry into English, with Willis Barnstone, Mark Bender, William I. Elliott, Ok-Koo Kang Grosjean, Jane Hirshfield, Leza Lowitz, Ken McCullough, Shogo Oketani, J. P. Seaton, Eric Selland, Gary Snyder, and Michelle Yeh. Other contributors include Ha Jin, winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Fiction, Samoan novelist Albert Wendt, Chinese dissident poet Xue Di, and American poets Peter Dale Scott and Arthur Sze.