Book Stories


Eka Kurniawan’s Sweeping and Crackling “Beauty is a Wound”: Magic Realism from Indonesia

Sep 21, 2017 / Beauty Is A Wound
There’s a novel that I have been encountering again and again on Amazon – Beauty is a Wound by Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan (Website, Facebook). An article on The Economist from July 2017 calls him “Indonesia’s finest novelist”. For his use of magic realism and surrealism, he is frequently compared to Gabriel García Márquez, Salman Rushdie, Günter Grass and Haruki Murakami.

The Best International Book Releases of September 2017

Sep 16, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Vacation season may have ended, but it’s not too late to continue your travels by reading adventurously and internationally. September is the perfect time to catch up on that book pile that’s been building up all summer, with late August and September releases rounding out work from around the world.

Eka Kurniawan’s Darkly Comic Tale of Boyhood

Sep 15, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, by the Indonesian author of Beauty Is a Wound, is a surreal, poignant account of a teen attempting to become a man.

This bird also rises

Sep 15, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is the third Eka Kurniawan novel to be published in English (all by Speaking Tiger in India). Vengeance is a very different book, and the absence of the overtly surreal or fantastical is the least of it.

“Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash” by Eka Kurniawan

Sep 14, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Eka Kurniawan is the Quentin Tarantino of Indonesian literature: a brash wunderkind, delivering gleeful references to pulp fiction, lashings of stylized violence, and an array of characters and scenarios that far surpass the tropes and clichés which inspire them. But as with Quentin Tarantino, one might occasionally wonder just how much substance lies beneath the indisputably stylish surface.

’27 Days of Heartbreak’: Documenting post-breakup coping process

Sep 11, 2017 / 27 Days of Heartbreak
27 Days of Heartbreak, a uniquely-styled fiction documenting a heartbreak process was launched Sept. 8 at Kinokuniya Bookstore, Plaza Senayan in South Jakarta by Gramedia Pustaka Utama. The book is written by Stella Ang and illustrated by Marisa Santosa.

Love and loss in vanished times

Sep 10, 2017 / The Question of Red: A Novel
Both Indonesia and India share the Mahabharataas a common text, but with differences. The Amba episode in India results in the creation of the first epic transgender Shikhandi whose task is to kill the man who ruined her life.

Author Feby Indirani Extols the Perks of Being Single in New Book

Sep 08, 2017 / 69 Things To Be Grateful About Being Single
In her newly launched book, author Feby Indirani wants to remind people that being single, in this case unmarried, has its many perks – 69 of them to be precise. Published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 69 Things To Be Grateful About Being Single invites single women to smile, contemplate, and also to have fun, because being single is not something to grieve about.

‘Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash’ by Eka Kurniawan (Review)

Sep 07, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
One writer who has had some success is Eka Kurniawan, probably the best-known contemporary Indonesian writer in the Anglosphere. His epic magical-realism novel Beauty is a Wound made the longlist of the Best Translated Book Award in 2016, while Man Tiger was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in the same year. Now he’s back in English with a third novel, and this one’s certainly taking no prisoners. There’s a touch of the usual magic, and a fair amount of sex, but the overwhelming feeling is one of violence…

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Sep 04, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Kurniawan (Beauty Is a Wound) tells the ribald, noir-inflected, and oddly epic story of a man’s quest to regain his sexual virility. Teenage Javanese roughneck Ajo Kawir loses the use of his “little bird” after witnessing the rape of a widow by two soldiers.