Press Release 2005 Aussie PEN-Keneally award

Wednesday 23 March 2005

Indonesian Publisher 
Recognised by Australia

A courageous Indonesian publisher, Joesoef Isak is the inaugural winner of the PEN KENEALLY award for 2005.

    The 74 year old publisher and translator, Isak will be presented with his award by author Tom Keneally at a function in Sydney next week. 
    Isak was the translator for an Indonesian edition of Keneally’s award winning novel The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith. The award is being given by Australian PEN in honour of the publisher’s long commitment to world literature in the face of great political obstacles and personal peril over the past twenty-five years
    Isak, imprisoned in Djakarta from 1967 to 1977 under the Soeharto regime, is the director of the Indonesian publishing house Hasta Mitra. He was also detained for several months in the 1980s. Before his arrest, he was a journalist and held positions in the Indonesian Journalists’ Association and was Secretary-General of the Asia Africa Journalists’ Association. 
    After his release, he became the main editor in the publishing group, Hasta Mitra, which published the works of renowned Indonesian author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. These works, including This Earth of Mankind series of four novels were all banned. Hasta Mitra has been the main publisher of Pramoedya during the years of dictatorship. Hasta Mitra remains one of the most courageous publishing groups in Indonesia. 
    In 2004 the American PEN Center awarded Mr. Isak the Jeri Laber International Freedom to Publish Award. 

The award function will be hosted by the Copyright Agency Ltd - a PEN supporter- at the Bayswater Brasserie, 32 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross at 6pm on Thursday 31 March. 
RSVP by 29 March to 9394 7600 to CAL. 
Media inquiries to Daniela Torsh from PEN 0438 889 032 or 

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