Desak Yoni


I was born in 1972—or so one of my friends’ parents who was a teacher told me, as neither of my parents recall my exact date of birth—in a small village north of Ubud on the island of Bali, one of the many islands in the Indonesian archipelago.
When I was young I felt there was no other choice but to leave Bali to free myself from the burdens of poverty and tradition. I have traveled extensively abroad, married, brought up sons, and worked in Australia while continuously educating myself at college and university—my most recent acquisition a Masters degree in International Business from Newcastle University, New South Wales, Australia.
I returned to Bali in 2012 after almost twenty years of living abroad, hoping to achieve a better quality of life, rebuild my family and create employment for my fellow Balinese. Since returning to Bali I have experienced at first hand the challenges facing Balinese women in the parallel universe of modern tourism and traditional life, where families struggle to maintain a balance between traditional adat duties and the temptations of the island’s tourism playground, illicit drug and sex scene.
Tumultuous experiences, a life full of dramas, tragedies and rare happy times that never seem to last for long enough, have inspired me to write this book as a part of my own journey of self-discovery. I am currently working on a second book while continuing other projects in Bali.
Desak Yoni

Smashwords Interview

Desak, tell us what is your book about?
My book is about the difficulty of a woman growing up and living in a patriarchal society, where men are in charge and free to live as they choose. The main character in my book, Madé Angel, travels abroad as I did, to escape the twin burdens of poverty and discrimination. She thought it would be different in western countries, but the same old problems are very much alive still all over the world. Women are still oppressed, in spite of education and the struggle for women's rights is ongoing. Madé learns that it is important to change her own self and demand respect, otherwise things will never get better.
So tell us, what made you want to become a writer?
At first I started writing to try and understand what was happening in my life. And then I realized writing it down actually helps us to distance ourselves from the problems we are facing and to see them in a different light. Just as a mountain gets smaller when you climb it. I want to help more women climb their mountains, and realize that they don't have to remain oppressed. It is up to us to get out from underneath the pressures that are upon us and set our own standards. There is a possibility of improving our lives and that of our children, breaking the vicious circles of abuse within our families if we refuse to accept the blame and insist upon the right to determine our own future.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


Renditions of My Soul
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 93,220. Language: Australian English. Published: August 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Inspirational
A Balinese girl, whose childhood dreams turn into a nightmare in a foreign country, returns to her island home to rediscover herself, but her problems follow her and multiply. Fate holds her captive and she finds it hard to escape from the path she is on. While writing her diary, she returns to her childhood haunts, retracing her own fears of bad karma. Will she learn to deal with her sadness?

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