Book Stories


Beauty is A Wound – English-language debut of a celebrated Indonesian author

Jun 14, 2015 / Beauty Is A Wound
English-language debut of a celebrated Indonesian author. “One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for 21 years.” With this surprising sentence, Kurniawan sets the stage for ...

Beauty Is a Wound

Jun 08, 2015 / Beauty Is A Wound
At the beginning of this English-language debut from Indonesian author Kurniawan, Dewi Ayu, who was once the most respected prostitute in the fictional coastal town of Halimunda, rises from her grave after being dead for ...

Woman Who Calms the Longing

May 05, 2015 / Melihat Api Bekerja
“I don’t believe people who like to show off their happy family..” is the string of words that opens a poem entitled “The Happiest Family Portrait”. “I don’t have family portrait,” said M. Aan Mansyur, ...

Perempuan Patah Hati yang Kembali Menemukan Cinta Melalui Mimpi by Eka Kurniawan

May 04, 2015 / Perempuan Patah Hati yang Kembali Menemukan Cinta Melalui Mimpi
A Broken Hearted Woman Who Found Love Through Dream (Perempuan Patah Hati yang Kembali Menemukan Cinta Melalui Mimpi) is basically a short story collection under the Indonesian Writer Eka Kurniawan. This is a really stand-out ...

Lies, Loss, and Longing by Putu Oka Sukanta

Apr 20, 2015 / Lies, Loss, and Longing
The still-ongoing Modern Library of Indonesia project birthed Lies, Loss, and Longing: a selection of Balinese writer Putu Oka Sukanta’s short stories. A short SparkNotes background on Sukanta: he was born in 1939 and at ...

Jazz, Perfume and the Incident

Apr 19, 2015 / Jazz, Perfume & the Incident
The three subjects around which Jazz, Perfume and the Incident is constructed are, indeed, those of the title. If the first two are, more or less, universal and could easily be similarly woven into many ...

Supernova by Dewi Lestari

Mar 23, 2015 / Supernova: The Knight, the Princess and the Falling Star
Supernova: The Knight, the Princess and the Falling Star is the first in the (otherwise still untranslated) ‘Supernova’-series; indeed, the novel’s closing words and promise are: “THE BEGINNING”. It stands alone well enough, however — ...

Kitab Omong Kosong (The Book of Nonsense) by Seno Gumira Ajidarma

Jan 14, 2015 / Kitab Omong Kosong
Kitab Omong Kosong is a sort-of-philosophical-fiction book, written in Indonesian language. This is my first difficult (and most challanging) Indonesian novel that I attempted to read. It revolves around five theories about the worlds, each ...

I, Indonesia

Dec 24, 2014 / Dari Kirara untuk Seekor Gagak Kepada Apakah Perempuan Bernama Arjuna Semua Untuk Hindia Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas
In a stellar year for the country’s politics, the literary scene illuminated modern Indonesian voices that rebelled against ideological convictions and social constructs. This year, two presidential candidates raced in a fierce competition that magnified ...

Author Laksmi Pamuntjak Recounts Culinary Spice of Life

Nov 27, 2014 / Aruna & Lidahnya
The Aksara bookstore at Jakarta’s Pacific Place mall was decked out for a celebration of Indonesian cuisine. In one corner, a photo of the pempek fish cakes doused in vinegar sauce from South Sumatra’s provincial ...