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She is an Indonesian novelist, short story writer, actress, screenwriter, and filmmaker. Her work has variously been described as "provocative and lurid", unique, and brave. Several of Djenar's short stories have been published in Indonesian newspapers, including Kompas and Republika, as well as in magazines such as Cosmopolitan Indonesia and Djakarta! Best Short Story awards have been awarded to two of her short stories, namely Menyusu Ayah (Breastfeeding Father) in 2002 and Waktu Nayla (Nayla's Time) in 2003. In 2008 Djenar debuted as film director with the release of the film version of “Mereka Bilang, Saya Monyet!”. This film is based on two short stories from the collection: Lintah (Leech) and Melukis Jendela (Painting the Window). Djenar also acts, and has appeared in a number of Indonesian films.

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