The Book of Jakarta: A City in Short Fiction

Book / Collection of Short Stories



A group of senior citizens set out to visit an amusement park for one last suicidal ride…

A wannabe influencer takes a driverless taxi through the streets of Jakarta, only to discover the destination she’s hurtling towards is now underwater…
A daughter despairs at her mother’s wish to leave the city forever, until she uncovers the dark secret behind it…

Made up of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country on the planet. It is home to hundreds of different ethnicities and languages, and a cultural identity that is therefore constantly in flux. Like the country as a whole, the capital Jakarta is a multiplicity of irreducible, unpredictable and contradictory perspectives.

From down-and-out philosophers to roadside entertainers, the characters in these stories see Jakarta from all angles. Traversing different neighbourhoods and social strata, their stories capture the energy, aspirations, and ever-changing landscape of what is also the world’s fastest-sinking city.

Translated by Mikael Johani, Zoe McLaughlin, Shaffira Gayatri, Khairani Barokka, Daniel Owen, Paul Agusta, Eliza Vitri Handayani, Syarafina Vidyadhana, Rara Rizal and Annie Tucker.

This book has been published with the support of the British Council.



In this pandemic-ridden time, words are one of the most powerful ways in which to travel - so if you’ve ever fancied visiting the Indonesian capital, this book is an initial glimpse into its very heart.
Sheetal Mistry in The Book of Jakarta (Bad Form Review, Jan 22, 2021)
In just over a hundred pages you will live Jakarta across its neighbourhoods and through time.
Chiara Pistillo in Review: The Book of Jakarta (Bandit Fiction, Jan 07, 2021)


*) An affiliate link. If you buy the book through this link, we may earn a small commission.
error: