Ahmad Fuadi

USA

Ahmad Fuadi was born in Bayur, a village on the edge of Lake Maninjau in 1972, West Sumatra. Fuadi traveled to Java to fulfill his mother’s request that he attend an Islamic boarding school at Pondok Modern Gontor. A Fulbright scholar and former journalist, Fuadi parlayed his formative years at an Islamic boarding school into his celebrated first novel, Negeri 5 Menara.  This charming story of young boys growing up in a boarding school and not giving up on their big dreams took Indonesia by storm. It was sold more than 100,000 copies in the first year of its release. Translated into English (The Land of Five Towers), the award-winning novel has also been adapted into a successful feature film.

Negeri 5 Menara has won several awards, including the 2010’s Khatulistiwa Literary Award (Long List), the 2010’s Favorite Fiction Writer and Book from the Indonesian Readers Awards, 2011’s Liputan6 Award SCTV, 2001’s best writer from Indonesia Book Publishers Association, 2011’s best fiction from The National Library of Indonesia.

He was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy to be a resident writer in 2012. He also was featured at international book events such as Frankfurt Book Fair, Byron Bay Writers Festival in Australia, Ubud Writers Festival, Singapore Writers Festival, Salihara Literary Biennale, and Makassar Writers Festival. In 2014, he was invited to be an artist-in-residence at University of California, Berkeley and in 2016 he was invited to Japan in a program called Asian culture leader by the Japan Foundation.

His second novel, Ranah 3 Warna (The Earth of 3 Colors) and the last book of the trilogy, Rantau 1 Muara were also national best sellers.

Upon graduating with a degree in International Relations from Padjadjaran University, he became a journalist for Tempo magazine. He received a Fulbright scholarship to take his master’s degree at the George Washington University and the Chevening Award scholarship to study documentary films at Royal Holloway, University of London.

He is currently busy writing, speaking at home and abroad, and building a social foundation―Komunitas Menara―to aid in the education of the underprivileged.