Kitchen Curse

Book / Collection of Short Stories


by Eka Kurniawan
Translated by Annie Tucker Benedict Anderson Maggie Tiojakin Tiffany Tsao

Format: Paperback, English
144 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: 1786637154/9781786637154
Published Oct 01, 2019 by Verso Books

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Hailed as a Southeast Asian Gabriel Garcia Marquez for the exuberant beauty of his prose and the darkly comic surrealism of his stories, Eka Kurniawan is the first Indonesian writer to be nominated for a Man Booker Prize. Here is his first collection of short stories—Indonesian literature’s characteristic form—to be translated into English.

A man captures a caronang, a strange, intelligent dog that walks upright, and brings it home, only to provoke an all-too-human outcome. A girl plots against a witch doctor whose crimes against her are, infuriatingly, like any other man’s. Stories explore the turbulent dreams of an ex-prostitute, a perpetual student, victims of anti-communist genocide, an elephant, a stone. Dark, sexual, scatalogical, violent, and mordantly funny, these fractured fables span city and country, animal and human, myth and politics.



Although some stories are stronger and subtler than others, overall, these stories are sites of bold experimentation.
Intan Paramaditha in Twisted Stories (Singapore Unbound, Mar 09, 2020)
Although there is the suggestion that there are always broader mechanisms of power exerting an influence behind individual human actions, political power in Kurniawan’s writing is often de-familiarized in surreal, horrifying, and occasionally hilarious ways. In Kitchen Curse, the act of storytelling becomes a way of reimagining the means through which the political finds expression.
Noah Flora in Eka Kurniawan’s Disorienting ‘Kitchen Curse’ Is a Punk Critique of Colonialism (The Nation, Jan 07, 2020)
Eka Kurniawan’s dark humour takes his compositional games to unique conclusions.
Lara Norgaard in Magical double (Mekong Review, Jan 01, 2020)
Scintillating and often darkly humorous, Kitchen Curse by Eka Kurniawan is masterful take on the vicissitudes of life for contemporary Indonesians.
Rhoden, T F in “Kitchen Curse”, stories by Eka Kurniawan (Asian Review of Books, Sep 14, 2019)


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