Clara Ng: Urban World and Fairy Tales

Clara Ng is a successful writer in both metropop and children’s literature genre. She is one of the faces of contemporary publishing in Indonesia. In this 2000 era when the metropop genre is popular in Indonesia, an independent urban woman who is very involved in the public field often emerged as an archetype character.

This type of character appeared in Clara Ng’s very first success, the Indiana Chronicletrilogy consisting of BluesLipstick, and Bridesmaid. The urban cosmopolitan worlds with characters that portray a metropolitan life become a topic that contemporary readers can relate to. The appearance of an independent woman entangled in the city’s turmoil made it more appealing.

Clara Ng uncovers the diverse professionalism of women living in the city in her novels and short stories. She further reaches into the LGBT subject through her Gerhana Kembar (Twin Eclipse) novel that narrates lesbianism.

Clara didn’t stop there. She builds “fiksimini” with Eka Kurniawan and Agus Noor which grew into a literature community that utilize Facebook and Twitter with up to 70,000 followers. From different backgrounds, professions, age, and cities, they try to make stories in 140 limited characters.

Clara’s most remarkable works apart from metropop fictions are her numerous children’s literature. On an interview, Clara claims that her attraction to them began when she readThe Giving Tree as an adult. There are plenty of kindness and beauty expressed in its simplicity. Unfortunately, she finds hardly any children’s book in Bahasa Indonesia for her child. Therefore, she was determined to write them.

Today, she has written more than 20 children’s book titles focusing on children’s feelings when dealing with events in their lives. Clara split her stories into three series of books, for instance, the series of Berbagi Cerita, Berbagi Cinta (Share Stories, Share Love) that consists of seven books. While Sejuta Warna Pelangi (One Million Colors of Rainbow) series already has nine books. In Dongeng Sekolah Tebing (Tales of the Canyon School), Clara tells 53 stories about children that climb canyon. In this interview, Clara explains herself as a writer who thinks visually when creating children’s book. This can be the reason why her collaboration with illustrators fruits into books with thrilling and interesting images.