Gadis Kretek

Book / Novel


Cigarette Girl
by Ratih Kumala

Format: Paperback, Indonesian
288 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: /9789792281415
Published Feb 23, 2012 by

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Pak Raja is dying. In his last moments he calls for Jeng Yah, a woman who isn’t his wife. His three children— Lebas, Karim, and Tegar, heirs to Kretek Djagad Raja, a large cigarette factory—are anxious, and the mother burns with jealousy because of her husband’s last request. So begins the search into the deepest regions of Java for Jeng Yah to fulfill their father’s dying wish, and learn the truth about the family’s business and secrets. The heirs meet an old worker and discover the beginning of Djagad Raja Cigarettes before it became the number one brand in Indonesia. They also learn the love story between their father and Jeng Yah, the owner of Kretek Gadis, a local cigarette from the town of M that was famous in its time. Cigarette Girl is more than a love story and the soul-searching journey of its characters. Set in M, Kudus, and Jakarta, the story takes its readers from the Dutch colonial era to the development of the cigarette industry in Indonesia. Cigarette Girl is imbued with the scent of tobacco and rich with the fragrance of love.

Shocking and rich with details up to the last sentence. Unknowingly we are taken along with three young Indonesians who attempt to straighten the history twisted by a generation dispersed during violent revolution and the most controversial political and social conditions in this country. (Cigarette Girl) is a beautiful work, and not to be missed.1


  1. Gramedia International