While Indonesia and Australia form the focus and location of Dewi Anggraeni's works, this collection of short stories explores themes shared by people in every country, every culture. Stories of love, stories of mystery and stories of the family can be found throughout the world, and this bilingual book captures the local flavour for both Australian and Indonesian readers. The tales vary widely from the passionate, sensuous world of the composer in Music for Libretto, through the dark haunting flashbacks to the shared past of Australia and Indonesia in 'The Hut'; from the unexpected humour of marital instability in 'Family Law', to the touching discovery of a child's special gift in 'Synesthesia'. Dewi paints word pictures which carry her readers inside the relationships between her characters, between her characters and their surrounds, between her neighbouring home countries -- Australia and Indonesia. This book presents a new approach in bilingual books -- the stories have not been translated from the language in which they were first written. The twelve stories have all been written twice, once in English, once in Indonesian.
In re-writing her stories in the second language, Dewi has allowed for the differences in writing conventions and social mores between Australia and Indonesia. What is acceptable in Australian writing is not always accepted in Indonesia. What is plausible in Indonesian writing can sometimes seem far-fetched or fanciful in Australia. This makes the collection eminently suited to students and others interested in learning about the culture of Indonesia, not just the language.