Book Stories

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 ...

A Tale of Traveling Tastebuds in Laksmi Pamuntjak’s Latest Novel

Nov 18, 2014 / Aruna & Lidahnya
Indonesian novelist Laksmi Pamuntjak’s newest book “Aruna and Her Palate” is about the relationships we form with food told through the eyes of a food-loving epidemiologist who specializes in avian flu. From beginning to end, ...

9 dari Nadira (9 from Nadira) by Leila S. Chudori – Part 2

Nov 16, 2014 / 9 dari Nadira
I debated whether or not I should write another post for Leila S. Chudori’s 9 dari Nadira (9 from Nadira). After reading my initial review for it, I felt like I really should. I didn’t ...

9 dari Nadira (9 from Nadira) by Leila S. Chudori

Nov 10, 2014 / 9 dari Nadira
Leila S. Chudori has been a figure in Indonesia’s literary landscape for almost forty years now. She became a published author at the tender age of twelve (!!!), having written children’s shorts for Indonesian magazines. ...

What “Bule Hunters” Want

Aug 29, 2014 / Bule Hunter: Kisah Para Perempuan Pemburu Bule
Indonesian women who have Western partners or husbands are often met with negative, sometimes harsh judgment from people around them, from gold diggers to exotic-looking harlots. ​When you see an Indonesian woman with brown complexion ...

Remy Sylado’s “Perempuan Bernama Arjuna” book review

Aug 05, 2014 / Perempuan Bernama Arjuna
“Thousands of years ago, The Chinese has been written about the knowledge of yin and yang. They believe that the two forces of yin and yang, manifested through any series of human organs, the lungs, ...

Life’s course in lyrics

Jul 03, 2014 / Before Dawn: The Poetry of Sapardi Djoko Damono
As a Jack-of-all-literary trades—as essayist, short-story writer, translator, and poet—Sapardi Djoko Damono is best known asIndonesia’s foremost lyricist whose career meanwhile spans five decades of published work. It is the first four of these that ...

Twilight in Jakarta by Mochtar Lubis

Jul 01, 2014 / Twilight in Djakarta
Twilight in Jakarta is a vivid and compassionate dissection of the social and political life of Jakarta in the formative years after independence. This important book reveals the dark currents of poverty, corruption and vice which course just beneath the surface of one of the great cities of the Third World, where the lives of intellectuals, poets, essayists, sociologists, swaggering businessman and labor leaders are enmeshed with thugs, pickpockets, petty thieves, loan sharks, coolies and street people who live in grinding abysmal poverty.

Jennifer Mackenzie reviews The Question of Red by Laksmi Pamuntjak

May 17, 2014 / The Question of Red: A Novel
From where she was standing, on the backyard of the hospital, the only objects she could make out were the parts chosen by the dying light. Idlehorse carts, bamboo bushes deep in sleep, an abandoned ...