Bilangan Fu

Book / Novel


by Ayu Utami

Format: Paperback, Indonesian
548 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: /9789799101228
Published Jun 01, 2008 by Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia (KPG)

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Two rock climbers and their girlfriend were involved in a soft erotic triangle affair. They were climbing the limestone cliffs not far from Sewugunung village on the south coast of Java, when one peculiar death occured in the village, followed by the disappearance of the remains buried. The locals believed that the dead had supernatural powers, but one religious group condemned him as a devil-worshiper whose body was rejected by the earth. A stone mining company, wanting to exploit the limestone hills, exacerbated the conflict. The three protagonists—Parang Jati, Sandi Yuda, and Marja—were caught in the conflict.

Critical spiritualism is first mentioned here. Its linguistic inspiration is explained in the end notes. In the story, Parang Jati proclaims his new way of belief, placing him at odds with his rival, a young religious leader who has just come back from abroad.

The Number Fu was written two years after the Bali bombings. Violence in the name of Islam was increasing. The Number Fu tries not to search the root of violence within that religion, but within all forms of dogmatism, in religions and the secular views.

The Number Fu won the Khatulistiwa Literary Award 2008. In the same year I received an award from the South East Asian Literature Council (Mastera).

The Number Fu has been published in Dutch.1


  1. Ayu Utami’s Indonesia & World 


The book has many references to biblical passages, that give it a more or less religious flavour
Karel Steenbrink in Bilangan Fu by Ayu Utami (Relindonesia, Aug 09, 2012)
Bybyq in Bilangan Fu (Personal Blog, Apr 23, 2011)