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Norman Erikson Pasaribu

Norman Erikson Pasaribu is a Toba Batak writer. Their collection of poems Sergius Seeks Bacchus (tr. Tiffany Tsao) won a PEN Translates Award and was published in 2019. Their collection of stories Happy Stories, Mostly (tr. Tiffany Tsao) was met with critical acclaim. It won the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize and was longlisted in the 2022 International Booker Prize.

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Three Poems

HEAT Series 3 Number 14

8) he followed me on Instagram, I followed him back / just to be kind, and he introduced himself as a physicist / building a time machine and asked if I / was interested to go back to the precolonial Tapanuli / because he had the white man’s guilt, / the Dutch person’s guilt, the coloniser’s guilt, / but also the urge / to verify if my ancestors were really man-eaters, / ‘Aren’t you at least a bit, teeny, tiny, curious?’ / he replied, ending it with a chicken leg emoji

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