Book Stories

On Eka Kurniawan

Oct 27, 2015 / Beauty Is A Wound Man Tiger
This autumn has brought two novels by Eka Kurniawan—a young Indonesian writer, born in 1975—to English-speaking readers. It’s a lucky and too-rare debut for an international writer: having two books appear from different translators and ...

All the Books! Podcast, Episode #25: New Releases for Oct. 27, 2015

Oct 27, 2015 / Home
This week, Liberty and Rebecca discuss The Witches: Salem 1692, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Slade House, and more new releases, including Home by Leila S. Chudori (Author), John H. McGlynn (Translator).


Oct 26, 2015 / Home
Chudori's (9 Dari Nadira) novel debut, awarded the Khatulistiwa Literary prize, is an ambitious saga that intertwines narration from various generations and creates a wide-ranging picture of Indonesia. It opens in the violent 1960s in Jakarta (after Suharto's rise to power), and follows political exiles studying and living in Paris up until Suharto's overthrow in 1998.

Staff picks: Year’s Best Literary Fiction

Oct 21, 2015 / Beauty Is A Wound
From Jonathan Franzen’s latest literary blockbuster to an Indonesian ghost story, here are the standout recommendations from a select group of booksellers. Alan Vaarwerk recommends Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan: Beauty is a Wound is like nothing I’ve read before. Eka Kurniawan intertwines Indonesia’s transition from colonial Dutch to Japanese occupation and finally independence with the tragic tale of a sex worker and her cursed family. The multi-layered narrative reads like an old-school gothic folk tale, full of dark magic, hyperbole and gratuitous violence.

8 Small Press Books to Read in October

Oct 19, 2015 / Home
Leila S. Chudori is the most prominent female journalist in Indonesia and Home is a novel steeped in difficult history. The book delves more deeply into the subject matter of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act ...

‘Home’ by Leila S. Chudori (Review)

Oct 18, 2015 / Home
This week sees the latest staging of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and 2015’s guest of honour is Indonesia, a country which is currently a blank on my literary explorers map. In honour of the event, ...

16 Awesome Reads to Add To Your Fall Library

Oct 16, 2015 / Beauty Is A Wound
Check out this season’s must-read titles including from Joy Williams’s arresting new story collection, Bonnie Jo Campbell’s unflinching portraits of strong women, and lyrical meditations on loneliness from Colum McCann. Beginning with a prostitute rising ...

‘Supernova’ by Dewi Lestari (Review)

Oct 15, 2015 / Supernova: The Knight, the Princess and the Falling Star
This week sees the latest staging of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and 2015’s guest of honour is Indonesia, a country which is currently a blank on my literary explorers map. In honour of the event, then, I’ve decided to devote the week to Indonesian fiction, with three reviews of books by Indonesian writers for your pleasure – and here’s the second of my reviews :) ***** Dewi Lestari’s Supernova (translated by Harry Aveling, review copy courtesy of the Lontar Foundation) begins with a meeting between two Indonesian expats in the US. Ruben, a medical student, and Dhimas, a writer, share a drug-fuelled experience at a party, and back in Indonesia ten years later, the men are still in love.

Laksmi Pamuntjak’s novel “The Question of Red”: The silence is broken

Oct 14, 2015 / The Question of Red: A Novel
In her novel "The Question of Red", Indonesian author Laksmi Pamuntjak effectively combines the multi-faceted nature of the island state′s sociopolitical system and its bloody recent history with the fate of her fictional protagonists. Bettina David read the book On the Islamic island of Java, many people are named after figures from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, populated by gods and heroes – names that still stand for beauty and gallantry, grace and wisdom. However, as Laksmi Pamuntjak writes at the very start of her novel "The Question of Red", you won′t find an Amba there - her fate in the Mahabharata seems too awful.

‘Beats Apart’ Brings the Blog to the Bookstore

Oct 14, 2015 / Beats Apart
For months before the book “Beats Apart” dropped, writers Alanda Kariza and Kevin Aditya, like any other millennial writers would, channeled as much energy as possible into building up anticipation. Teasers and excerpts from the ...