About the author

Intan Paramaditha

About the book

Judges' report

In an ingenious meeting of form and function, The Wandering uses the classic structure of a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story to interrogate notions of travel, social inequality, free will, and how we build our lives. Beginning with a deal with the Devil – who offers the narrator a pair of red shoes that will allow her to fulfil a long-held desire to travel – the narrative transports the reader around the world: from Jakarta to Amsterdam to Tijuana. The novel evokes these settings with colour and life, but also reveals the sinister undercurrents of a cosmopolitan society.

Woven into the narrative are reinterpretations of folk tales and other stories, making the journey – or, indeed, journeys – through the novel a rich, dizzying experience. While The Wandering is unabashedly polemical at times, it always remains engaging and exhilarating, and Intan Paramaditha is to be applauded for realising the soaring ambition of this work.

Further reading


‘A cleverly crafted tale about the illusion of free will, and the stakes and pressures that accompany the choices influenced by one’s identity in the world.’ Cher Tan, The Saturday Paper

‘An ingenious choose-your-own-adventure challenge…  Who can travel, and on what conditions, is one of the primary human rights questions of our era, and The Wandering skilfully takes it on.’ Lauren Elkin, The Guardian

‘The Wandering is a book about crossing borders, geographically but also those of gender, society, and fictionality.’ Jacqueline Leung, Asian Review of Books


Read ‘Five Questions with Intan Paramaditha’, Liminal Mag

Listen to ‘Intan Paramaditha: The Wandering’ via the Sydney Writers’ Festival podcast

Listen to ‘Sense of Place: Intan Paramaditha’ on ABC’s Blueprint with Jonathan Green

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