Saturday, October 31, 2015

John Cairney and His Book about Immaculate Innings in Baseball History

John Cairney talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her book, Immaculate: A History of Perfect Innings in Baseball.

“I think it’s really human interest stories of the pitchers that make it compelling to all of us.” ~John Cairney 

John is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, which he acknowledges may be surprising to some, as Canada isn’t known for baseball. He played baseball as a child, has been a long-time fan of the sport, and developed an interest, in his 30s, in the history of baseball. He admits that, as an academic, he wondered if he had it in him to write a non-academic book, and had always been impressed by writers who can write out stories that can pull in people who aren’t interested in the topics, and this book was an opportunity to explore such territory.

A perfect, or “immaculate,” inning in baseball is when a pitcher strikes out all three consecutive batters, who are retired in nine strikes during that same inning, and this is a feat that has taken place only seventy-seven times since the 1880s, when major league baseball was established. His interest in immaculate innings began when, on July 21, 2013, he heard on the radio that Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Steve Delabar had pitched an immaculate inning the previous night. He then realized that there wasn’t much on immaculate innings. He was drawn to Steve Delabar’s story and wondered what other human stories lay behind other immaculate innings, and from there he went into researching for the book and wrote about it.

During the course of his research, John did a statistical analysis of immaculate innings and has realized that the main players involved in an immaculate inning are the pitcher, the batter and the back catcher. 14 immaculate innings were recorded from 1889 to 1963, a period of seventy-four years, while from 2011 to the present, 2015 season 14 immaculate innings were recorded, and John remarked that, after statistically looking into such factors as increased pitching specialization, this increase in immaculate innings can be attributed to that more games than ever are being played nowadays compared to before, and the greater attention given to the biomechanics, training and nutrition of modern-day athletes. That said, John notes that perfect innings “elude the numbers,” i.e., are unpredictable, which is what makes them a topic of interest.

Where researching for, and writing out, the book was concerned, John enjoyed the process and the challenge of creating a non-academic work, and he admits that doing so improved his technical writing, as he had to pay particular attention to the prose, which isn’t a concern when writing technically. He didn’t interview people personally while doing research for Immaculate, and hopes to do so in the future. In spite of that, John noted that he has become more aware of the human aspect of baseball in the course of writing the book, and he mentioned a story when a batter hit a ball hard enough for her to score a homerun but broke her leg during the early part of her run around the bases, which she needed to do to officially complete the home run. Despite the competitive nature of the game, members of the opposite team actually carried her around the bases so that she could touch these and thus officially get her home run registered.

John likes spending time with his family and doesn’t particularly like doing accounting work. In regard to future books, he hopes to write about one topic of interest being the rituals associated with baseball.

John Cairney’s book, Immaculate: A History of Perfect Innings in Baseball, can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Mosaic Press.

Purchase on Amazon: Immaculate: A History of Perfect Innings in Baseball

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dr. Ramani Durvasula on Surviving a Narcissist in a Relationship (Should I Stay or Should I Go?)

Dr. Ramani Durvasula talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her latest book, Should I Stay or Should I Go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist.

“Stop thinking that you’re not enough.” ~Dr. Ramani Durvasula

Ramani has had a lot of experience with narcissists, either through her patients or through her own experience, and this is what enabled her to write the book about having a relationship with a narcissist and giving a strategy for people to deal with them. According to her, a narcissist is a person who lacks empathy and is very entitled, grandiose, arrogant, doesn’t care about others’ feelings and always puts themselves first. She notes that this is more and more common with social media to enable them to get validation.

The book outlines thirty characteristics to identify a narcissist, with one of these being that a narcissist would tell another everything about themselves in detail but who wouldn’t listen if that other person talks about themselves to a narcissist, and another example being that of a hair-trigger temper when relating to others, such as having a temper tantrum when they deal with service personnel and don’t get what they want. That said, narcissists are very seductive and charming and can get into relationships easily.

Although the book focuses on narcissism in relationships, Ramani also mentioned, during the interview, that narcissism also is around in other spheres of life, such as in work, with a narcissistic boss. One example that she gave of a situation with a narcissistic boss is that everything one says at work is either ignored or denied, which ties up with the phenomenon called “gaslighting,” wherein one’s experience is denied, resulting in a loss of control, fear and depression. To people who have narcissistic bosses, Ramani advises getting to know what one’s job function is and then documenting all of the things that happen. She also decries that present HR procedures actually enable a narcissist rather than their victim, as narcissists have no hesitation making a lot of legal noise, whereas their victims are unlikely to.

Where the reaction to the book is concerned, psychologists who have worked with narcissists have remarked that the book is spot on, while the narcissists who have reviewed the book have hated it. Writing the book was difficult for Ramani because of her immersion in the difficult topic, and she remarked that doing so was like getting into a relationship with a narcissist, which left her psychologically exhausted. Writing the book also enabled her to to create a far greater state of grace and forgiveness for herself.

Where the release of her book is concerned, and compared to that of her previous book, Ramani is focusing more on marketing it through social media, remarking that grassroots is everything, and is thus working to market the book “from the bottom up,” rather than “top down.” She’s looking forward to this as this is a cause she is passionate about, as well as the sparring that will inevitably take place. She remarked that the topic is enormous and that this is applicable in more areas than just intimate relationships, and that there is looking forward to its international development.

Ramani’s advice for someone who is presently in a relationship with a narcissist is to stop thinking that one is not enough. This is particularly applicable to women, who are trained to believe that, if they take care of others, everything will be fine. She notes that, if a person went to a bank that just kept on taking that person’s money without giving it back, that person would no longer be a customer of that bank. She notes that, in relationships, people should always get something back, and that being in a relationship with a narcissist is like being in a relationship with a bank that gives nothing back.

Ramani wants to open a national conversation about narcissism, particularly with today’s children, who are growing up in an environment where technology enables narcissism. She is also working with others to create a series of retreats where people who have been damaged by being in a relationship with a narcissist can get back on their feet. She’s presently considering writing a book, with a colleague, on how popular media fuels such relationship myths such as “beauty and the beast,” where the “beast” becomes a “beauty” through the loving efforts of someone, and is also considering other topics, such as the psychology of women traveling alone.

Ramani loves to travel, as just going to another place “reboots” her, and she dislikes wasting time with people who don’t listen or who aren’t engaged, as she values her time with others, as well as making others do something they don’t want to do.

Ramani Durvasula’s website for her book, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, is

Purchase on Amazon: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff on Rosemary, the Missing Kennedy

Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her latest book, The Missing Kennedy.

“I learned that love and gentleness really was a wonderful way to be with anybody, no matter who you were.” ~Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff

Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff’s aunt, Sister Paulus, cared for Rosemary Kennedy, the sister of American President John F. Kennedy, for some thirty years, and it was during this time that Elizabeth began visiting Rosemary, starting at around four years old, which grew into a solid friendship. Sister Paulus, who was called the “Zippity Nun” for her positive and energetic nature, was Rosemary’s main caregiver and related to Rosemary better than anyone else, being able to calm Rosemary as well as do things that others couldn’t make her do while also loving and caring for her. Indeed, Sister Paulus would remark that the favorite times in her life were when she was with Rosemary.

Rosemary’s situation sprang from an attempt to find a solution to a medical concern. Rosemary had always been socially naive and had had trouble reading and writing since childhood, which would, today, most likely have been a diagnosis of dyslexia, despite the fact that she could do three-digit sums quickly. In the 1940s, such distinctions of mental concern didn’t exist, and were lumped together as “mental disease,” and mentally ill patients were shunted into attics and institutions where they wouldn’t be seen by the public in general, places where they were vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse.

Rosemary’s mental condition came out during her teen years, with one symptom being the violent temper tantrums she would throw, and it was during this time period that Rosemary was brought to a doctor for diagnosis. The doctor prescribed a lobotomy, which was the popular treatment of the day to correct such concerns, and Rosemary’s father agreed. Rosemary’s mother, Rose, had no say in the matter, for she was raised in a Victorian environment, where wives obeyed their husbands implicitly. (Today, lobotomies have fallen out of favor within the medical profession as a valid medical procedure and have been replaced by drugs designed to deal with mental concerns.)

A lobotomy consists of the doctor going into the patient’s brain with a spatula and then cutting away at the connecting parts of the prefrontal cortex. Rosemary was awake throughout the procedure and encouraged to sing, and the doctor stopped only after she could no longer sing, which was a sign that the procedure was completed. Rather than heal her, however, the procedure only exacerbated Rosemary’s condition, so much so that she was sent to an institution where she could be better cared for. Her father, Joe, was the one who gave the green light for the operation, and he was apparently so stricken with guilt and shame at what had happened that he forbade anyone in the family to have any contact with Rosemary. (The latter condition was actually standard for anyone institutionalized, as it was felt that contact with their family would be too much of a stress on the person institutionalized.)

It was thus only after Joe became incapacitated from a stroke that the rest of the family learned about Rosemary, as Sisters of St. Coletta, the institution that was caring for Rosemary, needed coherent instructions from an immediate family member. It was shortly after Joe’s death that Rose was reunited with Rosemary, which began dramatically, when Rosemary screamed and pounded on Rose’s chest as she expressed her feelings about not being able to see her family for two decades, but which then settled into a peaceful relationship, one where Rosemary was able to socialize with others, and which resulted in a positive change in her personality as well as a modicum of a regular life. It was also during this time that she formed a close bond with her siblings, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver and Ted Kennedy.

It was after reconnecting with Rosemary that Eunice Kennedy-Shriver began the Special Olympics, as she realized that people like Rosemary weren’t as healthy as normal people because of their relative lack of exercise. Ted Kennedy likewise began lobbying in the Senate for legislation to aid those with a disability after reconnecting with Rosemary. Eunice’s son, Anthony, also became involved when he set up Best Buddies, which pairs able-bodied students with the disabled.

Elizabeth revealed that Rosemary was “a knockout” when she was younger and maintained a striking appearance throughout her life. Rosemary loved ice cream, dancing, music, eating out, dressing up in pretty clothes and roses.

Elizabeth is a writer and is also in a dream group, which studies dreams. It was after she had a dream after asking, “What book should I write next?” that she decided to write the book, after a great deal of initial personal reluctance, particularly since her own family had had experience with mental issues (Elizabeth’s uncle Nick suffered from depression, while her aunt Zora suffered from schizophrenia). She eventually decided to write it by staying true to who she and Sister Paulus were, attempting to empathize with everyone involved, and in the course of her research learned that the younger Kennedy generation, such as Anthony, were curious about their Aunt, and this encouraged her. Writing the book was an emotional process for Elizabeth, admitting that she cried as she relived the tragic moments of Rosemary’s life. The process has also made Elizabeth more empathic, more aware of others’ circumstances and actions.

Elizabeth loves reading, writing, being in Nature and events with family. She would also like to travel and visit the various Presidential libraries (she already visited the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum during the course of the research for the book). She feels that family history is exceptionally important, as it helps explain who we are and how connected we are with each other, and that people should look into their own lives for stories.

Elizabeth would like others to know that ordinary, everyday people could create extraordinary things through small acts of love and kindness, and that empathy is “the way to go” with anyone who is different. She is presently working on a middle-grade novel, a picture book and an idea for a novel in the works.

Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff’s website for her book, The Missing Kennedy, is

Purchase on Amazon: The Missing Kennedy

Friday, October 16, 2015

Uma Girish on Losing Her Mother to Cancer & How She Got Back on Her Feet

Uma Girish talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her latest book, Losing Amma, Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life’s Detours.

“The treasures in our lives are buried in the traumas.” ~Uma Girish

Uma had always been a storyteller since she was a child, and it was no surprise that she loved reading books. Even from a young age, she would write essays, and in those times when her father would give a cash prize to the best essay written by one of his four children, she would invariably win the prize, much to her siblings’ dismay. Those beginnings have led her to writing short stories and essays which, as of today, have been published in seven countries and which have won her several awards.

Uma taught business English in India, and her plan, when she and her family relocated to Chicago in the first half of 2008, was to teach English as a second language. Given that the economy wasn’t good at the time, she was forced to take part-time jobs, since there were no openings at the jobs she wanted.

It was in January, 2009, she learned that her mother had cancer - a disease Uma’s mother would die from in eight months’ time. Prior to her mother’s death, she admitted that she was a “normal person” in that she was concerned with raising a family, going to work, paying the bills and such. The news, the subsequent period of dealing with cancer, and her mother’s subsequent death plunged Uma into despair, but it was from that experience that she was “reborn” into the person that she presently is.

Uma remarks that she had three questions that needed to be answered after her mother died:

Who am I?
What is the meaning of this life?
What am I meant to do with this life?

It was in the process of finding out the answers to these that Uma realized that her purpose was to serve others.

Uma noted that nobody knew how to deal with grief, and dealing with the effects of her mother’s loss, as well as the subsequent loss of her father over a year later, gave Uma an understanding into what grief was, through her actually venturing into that territory and getting in touch with teachers who could help her out and heal herself. At that time as well, she came in contact with people who were, like her, at a crossroads in their lives, and it was through that process that Uma realized that helping others deal with grief was her calling. She spent two years after her father’s death undergoing what she called an “apprenticeship” in dealing with grief, which healed her. Since then, she has since become a Grief Guide and a Bereavement Volunteer at a hospice, reaching out to others and guiding them through their time of grief.

One of the things that helped Uma out greatly through the experience was that she had kept a highly detailed journal throughout the course of her mother’s illness, which provided a lot of detail that helped her write the book out. Uma notes that journaling gave her a good way to express herself and to get all her negative emotions out of her system as well as to see her progression through the process, and because of this Uma requires that all with whom she works with during her grief counseling maintain their own journal.

Another thing that helped Uma out through not only her mother’s treatment and the stresses attendant to relocating was her service in her part-time work at a retirement community. It was there that she encouraged seniors to tell their stories, which she found new and fascinating, as she didn’t grow up in the United States. She would type up these stories onto a website, and as she did so she realized that the themes of loss, pain, forgiveness, separation and betrayal are common to human beings.

At the time just before she wrote the book, Uma was between writing projects and thinking about what to do next. Uma focused on the writing, and it was after she received the contract for its publication she realized that the story in her book was bigger than her own personal story, as it dealt with grief and loss, which, she mentions, are common aspects of the human experience, and that people from around the world could get something from the book and connect with the story intimately.

Uma notes that grief is a universal experience, rather than the isolated, personal experience that people think it is, and that, in this moment, there are millions of people around the world who are experiencing grief. She then challenged people to what they can do, to reach out to others who are likewise feeling grief, and to help them better get through their own experience.

Uma believes her story is global, and that her book can touch people throughout the world. She encourages people to see, after reading the book, what threads of her story resonate with themselves and their experiences. She is presently working on her next book, which is a collection of essays about life and life’s lessons.

Uma loves to read and hates to shop, admitting that the way her husband shops is more like how a woman does compared to herself. She hopes to be able to conduct teacher workshops on a cruise in the future, as this is on her bucket list.

Uma Girish’s website for her book, Losing Amma Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life’s Detours, is It is also available on Amazon, and in both paperback and Kindle versions.

Purchase on Amazon: Losing Amma, Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life’s Detours

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gordon Tredgold Shows the FAST Way to Succeed in Any Business or Company

Gordon Tredgold talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about his latest book, FAST: 4 Principles Every Business Needs to Achieve Success and Drive Results.

A more successful world is a better world to live in.” ~Gordon Tredgold

Gordon has a degree in mathematics and began his career in 1986, working in IT, and over the course of the next three decades, proved his worth at handling projects and solving problems, specializing in projects that people thought difficult, and thus didn’t want to handle. He liked handling such projects because these allowed him to break the rules, and as a result, was able to bring about change when and where it was needed. While handling such projects, he learned what caused failure, which are a lack of focus, a lack of accountability, a lack of simplicity and a lack of transparency.

Where failure is concerned, Gordon quoted some interesting statistics:

  • 60% of IT projects fail
  • 80% of all businesses fail within eighteen months (from Forbes magazine)
  • 90% of solopreneurs fail
  • 42% of solopreneurs fail because there is no market for their product (from a Fortune magazine article)
  • 95% of product launches fail
  • 24% of businesses run out of money to support themselves before they turned a profit

Gordon points out that these failures most likely stemmed from making basic mistakes, and the book, FAST, is essentially a distillation of what he learned from what causes businesses to fail and what enables them to succeed, be they multibillion-dollar businesses or small businesses, and to avoid the negative impact of failure. He wrote the book essentially as a way to create a legacy for himself, by creating a way by which others can achieve results and success more than he could by either helping them out or giving seminars

Gordon remarks that he can explain things in a way that people can easily understand, thus making the lessons within his book understandable and actionable. As an example, he mentioned that he brought up the case of a USD 50B utility company that wanted to reduce expenses at a talk he conducted in Morocco, and he was able to break down the problem, which was related with system testing, so that members of the audience who had no background in system testing were able to easily home in on the best way for that company to reduce expenses. He keeps his explanation simple and understandable because he wants to give his readers as much information and tools as possible so they can get whatever job they are working on done.

Where success is concerned, the four components that Gordon espouses are:

F - Focus: what are you trying to do?
A - Accountability: who is going to do the work?
S - Simplicity: how are we going to approach the work?
T - Transparency: “how far;” honesty in how well one is doing, and the visibility of the work involved.

Gordon also gave further explanation on terms that are often confused with each other
Simple and easy. Gordon gave an analogy from boxing, in that, if he went up against Manny Pacquiao, his simple plan would be to rush over to where Manny Pacquiao was, once the bell was rung, and then knock him out with one punch. Chances are, however, such a plan would not be easy to accomplish.

Effectiveness and efficiency. Gordon gave the analogy of a car stuck in mud, with the driver running the engine and the wheels so that the latter spin quickly. The car delivers the power to the wheels efficiently, enough that the wheels spin quickly, but the effectiveness of the action is questionable, as the car is unlikely to get out of the mud and moving forward, which is a measure of how effective a car is.

Accountability and responsibility. Gordon gave the analogy of a soccer team, wherein the manager is accountable for the team’s performance, which includes hiring the people he needs and calling the plays to be run, while the players are responsible for the actual plays that will be executed.

Gordon’s favorite success story was when he dealt with an entrepreneur whose business was making USD 20,000 a month. Gordon was brought in to enable that company to generate double that amount. He noted that the company didn’t know how much profit they were making, and that, if they doubled their revenue, they could also be doubling their losses. He also noted that, if the company were making only 5% profit, this would be a net income of USD 1,000 a month, which is equivalent to that of a basic job in the United States, whereas if, by properly selecting the components of their product, they generated 50% profit they would have a net income of USD 10,000 a month, which would be more along the lines of what a business should make. Although, after all was said and done, revenues initially dropped to USD 15,000 a month , the company was making 50% profit, or USD 7,500 a month, which was a decent number for a business.

To leaders, managers or company owners who are doing an existing project, Gordon advises that they rate themselves, on a scale of zero to five, with five being the best, on each of the four FAST principles, and then pick on that area with the lowest score to work on first. to leaders, managers or company owners who are just starting out in a new endeavor, Gordon advises starting on Focus to aim at the right target.

Although Gordon admits it would be nice to make money out of selling a million copies of his book, his intention is more aligned with his desire to create a legacy for himself by reducing the rate of failure in business, as he believes that a more successful world is a better world to live in. He is also presently working on two follow-up books to FAST, which he’s initially calling FASTER and FASTEST, both of which focus more on people, as well as a version of FAST which is aimed specifically at entrepreneurs.

Gordon is an avowed rugby fan, as he used to play it in his younger days. He hates routine or mundane activities that he’s not allowed to improve upon, and hopes to become the CEO of a major corporation where he can efficiently apply all the techniques and lessons he has learned in the past three decades, or to become the manager of a football team.

Gordon Tredgold’s website for his book, FAST: 4 Principles Every Business Needs to Achieve Success and Drive Results, is

Purchase on Amazon:  FAST: 4 Principles Every Business Needs to Achieve Success and Drive Results

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Steffany Irawan on Translating Daughters of Papua into English

Stefanny Irawan talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about being a translator and one of the latest novels she translated, Daughters of Papua.

“You gotta stay true to the nuance of the work, the language, but you need to transfer that to the new language that you’re working with, in the translated one.” ~Stefanny Irawan, on translating native language books

Stefanny grew up in East Java and attended college at Surabaya where, because of her love of reading and language, she majored in English literature and got hooked on theater, which she continues today. She began to write seriously during the last few years of college, which resulted in a collection of her short stories being published in 2006 by an Indonesian publisher, after which she became a translator. She acquired a Fulbright scholarship that enabled her to earn her Master’s degree in Arts Management from the State University of New York, in Buffalo, and is presently a teacher at Universitas Kristen Petra in Surabaya, where she teaches introduction to creative writing, playwriting and stage production. She is also the managing director of the college theater at that university.

Stefanny was inspired to become a translator after reading both good and bad translated works, with the good translations reminding her of the wonders of the different languages used in the world, powerfully breaking down language barriers and enabling people to enjoy great works. Bad translations, on the other hand, keep her mindful of the importance of her job as a translator and encourages her to do her work well. Indeed, after reading some badly translated works, Stefanny told herself that she could do a lot better, and this is what helped drive her to become a translator.

Stefanny sees her work as building bridges between cultures, between Indonesia and the English-speaking-and-writing world, and becoming such a bridge, being a cultural ambassador, is something she is passionate about. She chooses to translate works that are compelling to her, be these due to the issues covered or the stories themselves or the characters involved. Stefanny admits that idiomatic expressions are challenging, since an idiom in one language may not exist in another language. Nuance is also a challenge, as this likewise has to be transferred in the translated work.

Stefanny acknowledges Lian Gouw of Dalang Publishing as a mentor when it comes to translating, and she has had several discussions with her when it comes to staying true to the original work while being able to accurately deliver the original work’s intent.

Stefanny has translated around half a dozen works, including Daughters of Papua and the English book version of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera, and while she was translating the latter book she realized that the story of the book is a lot bigger than the musical, with more emphasis on the character of the Phantom. Daughters of Papua made her realize just how hard are the lives of the people of Papua, particularly the women, with the violence they endure.

Stefanny is also an author in her own right, and she finds it most difficult to translate her own work, as she admits that the first person she must please is herself. Interested as she is with women’s issues, such as violence against women, she hopes to work on more books that deal with such. She feels honored to have translated Love, Death and Revolution by the acclaimed Indonesian author Mochtar Lubis (1), and hopes to work with the Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri, whose work she admires.

Stefanny believes that “practice makes perfect,” particularly when it comes to translating, and encourages would-be translators to read a lot and to translate a lot, as translation is a never-ending learning process. She also recommends networking and finding a good mentor or mentors, people who care about one as a person and as a translator.

Stefanny loves being involved in theater production and, while it’s part of her job as a teacher, dislikes students who are hard to get through to. She hopes to own a theater company that will feature plays that present Indonesia in a way that not only Indonesians but an international audience will find meaningful and, perhaps, even thought-provoking. Steffany Irawan can be contacted through

(1) Mochtar Lubis was a co-winner of the 1958 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication. In 2000, he was named as one of the International Press Institute’s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years. (source: Wikipedia)

Purchase on Amazon: Anindita Siswanto Thayf's Daughters of Papua

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Anindita Siswanto Thayf Reveals the Plight of Women in Daughters of Papua Novel

Anindita Siswanto Thayf talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her novel, Daughters of Papua.

“I believe that those who want to change can transform themselves, and this includes the people of Papua.” ~Anindita Siswanto Thayf

Anindita was raised in a multi-ethnic family, as her mother was from Sulawesi and her father was from Java, in a nation where there are over three hundred different ethnic groups. She loved to listen to the stories her mother read to her as a child, as these exposed her to worlds that she wasn’t aware of, and also read stories as a child. She began writing short stories in junior high school and then became an online writer before getting a full-time job as a writer.

Anindita’s interest in Papua began when she read two articles, one of which described the beauty of Papua and the other describing the negative impact of a mining company in that place. The two faces of Papua fascinated her, and she then felt that she needed to bring the story, and the issues within, out into the world, issues such as domestic violence, environmental pollution, alcoholism and other issues related to the impact of capitalism and modernization on a previously non-capitalistic society. She then did research on the situation and got in touch with several native Papuans to get the information she needed, and it was from this that she was able to write her book.

For Anindita, writing the book from the viewpoint of one of the main, narrative characters, a seven-year-old girl named Lexie, was the most enjoyable part to write, while writing from the viewpoint of the other two main, narrative characters - a dog and a pig - was more difficult, as she wanted to balance their natural behavior within the story. Writing the book made Anindita realize that progress has its dark side, and she admits that, even though she isn’t a Papuan, she is particularly affected by the issue of domestic violence as a woman.

Having her book published and translated was “a dream come true,” for Anindita, and as an author, wants her book to be as widely read as possible. She hopes that her book will help raise awareness about humanity and dignity, particularly for women. She is interested in history and philosophy, and is presently writing a book on the latter.

Anindita loves writing, and she admitted that she would feel uncomfortable if she didn’t have anything to read. She hopes to set up a small bookstore or book cafe, where anyone can come in and read.

Anindita Siswanto Thayf’s website for her book, Daughters of Papua, is

Purchase the paperback on Amazon: Daughters of Papua by Anindita Siswanto Thayf