Eliza Vitri Handayani’s From Now On Everything Will Be Different is a taut and intense novel that depicts a moment in a society, and in two lives, when the hope that everything can be better is real, when it partly happens, a revolution experienced through the lens of a photographer, a young woman who, as author, offers us her own new writer’s voice. Handayani’s commitment as a writer is continuous with her work as a translator and also as an advocate for freedom of expression.
My characters and I grew up under the New Order, which enforced uniformity. Just as they were graduating college and it was time for them to enter the real world, there were all these new freedoms. Now they could be different, they didn’t have to fear censorship or persecution anymore. But as the euphoria passed, they realized there was still a lot of challenges, and they still had to face their own fears and self-destructive habits. By drawing parallels between my character’s endeavors to realize themselves and Indonesia’s efforts towards democracy, I want to write a story about how to break free and be loved for who you are.