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Indonesian Writer’s Debut Novel to Get the Netflix! Treatment

December 12, 2020, 03.15 AM

KOMPAS.comNetflix viewers in Indonesia and around the world might get a glimpse of themes closer to home, as the streaming service is set to bring Indonesian writer Jesse Q. Sutanto’s debut novel Dial A For Aunties to its collection of shows and movies.

Set for an undisclosed release date, the adaptation will team Jesse with producer Nahnatchna Khan, the producer of the highly acclaimed sitcom Fresh off the Boat and Always Be My Maybe, which is also released by Netflix.

“[Dial A For Aunties] is about a Chinese-Indonesian woman who unintentionally killed her blind date as she was doing a wedding photo shoot," the Oxford University alumna in Creative Writing said in an interview with VoA on December 7.

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"She then asked her mother and aunts to hide the body,” 

Dial A For Aunties, which occurred at an Indonesian wedding in California, tapped into her Chinese-Indonesian heritage, an element that was tangibly highlighted by the Goodreads literary website.

“A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture,” the website said.

Described by Hollywood Reporter as “Crazy Rich Asians meets Weekend at Bernie’s” and boasting a title alluding to the 1954 Hitchcock classic film Dial M for Murder starring Grace Kelly and Ray Milland, Jesse admitted that finding a publisher for the book was not easy.

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“I met with a lot of rejections [for Dial A For Aunties] from [foreign] publishers, just as I did with my previous stories set in Indonesia,” she recalled.

“Most of them are only interested in Western stories featuring [Western characters]. For them, any work set in Indonesia are too foreign.”

Dial A For Aunties will be published in April 27, 2021.

(Writer/Editor: Miranti Kencana Wirawan)


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