Once In A Hundred Years

Andrea Hirata’s Novel, The Rainbow Troops, Is The First Work In The 100-Year History Of Indonesian Literature To Be Translated Into Turkish. We Caught Up With The World’s Best-Selling Indonesian Author In Istanbul Recently.

Your novel has had great success around the world and sold close to 20 million copies.
These are sales figures previously unseen in Indonesia. The book has been published in 19 different languages in 78 countries. I’m very happy that my book could also be published in Turkey.

Your novel has also been made into a movie. Are you pleased with the result?
In my opinion the movie adaptation was very successful. It reached five million viewers in Indonesia in 2008 and was also shown at the Berlin International Film Festival.

We’ve read in the press that your book has been compared with Slumdog Millionaire. What do you make of that?
Vikas Swarup is a very fine writer whereas my books and I have only begun to become known in the world. For me, he is a teacher. It is an honor for me to be compared with Vikas Swarup.

The story of the publication of Andrea Hirata’s book is highly interesting. One day Hirata’s house was burglarized. His book, which was stored on his computer, was sent to a publisher by the burglar and Hirata received an offer to publish it. That is why Hirata is known in Australia and the U.S. as ‘the accidental writer’.