Book Stories

At the borderlands

Apr 01, 2017 / Currently & Emotion: Translations
Much of the collaborative or intersemiotic work in Currently & Emotion is supported by a feminist epistemology of ‘emotion’, which advocates “sharing, trust, responsibility, bodies, process and the absence of hierarchy over dominant, culturally masculine traits that ...

Melipat Jarak: Sepilihan Sajak

Mar 29, 2017 / Melipat Jarak: Sepilihan Sajak
Melipat Jarak: Sepilihan Sajak comprises Sapardi Djoko Damono’s selected poems written and published between 1998 and 2015. Quite different from Hujan Bulan Juni, his other book of selected poems released back in 2014, this one’s central theme ...

“Cigarette Girl” by Ratih Kumala

Mar 14, 2017 / Cigarette Girl
Redolent of the ubiquitous Indonesian kreteks, Cigarette Girl follows three generations of two Javanese families from the time of the Dutch surrender to the Japanese in 1942, via the crackdown on the communists and the massacres of 1965, ...

Indonesian Local Culture in Literature: Past and Present

Feb 16, 2017 / Puya ke Puya Sitti Nurbaya: Kasih Tak Sampai
Not so long ago I had a chance to read two Indonesian books, one is a classic and one is contemporary, which are heavily laden with cultural values and traditions: Sitti Nurbaya by Marah Rusli, ...

The most anticipated books of 2017

Feb 03, 2017 / Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash
Those who loved Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty Is A Wound will be pleased to see that Text are also publishing his novel about inequality, police violence, and impotence, Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, in July.

‘Manusia Istana’: More than just a poetry reading

Feb 03, 2017 / Manusia Istana
Poetry readings are usually solemn with hardly any dramatization from the readers. Their main focus is usually on the artistic delivery of the poems alone. That’s why poetry readings usually appeal only to those who ...

Amba: The Question of Red by Laksmi Pamuntjak

Jan 27, 2017 / The Question of Red: A Novel
Named after a tragic figure in Indonesia’s and India’s shared mythology, Amba spends her lifetime trying to invent a story she can call her own. When she meets two suitors who fit perfectly into her ...

Hujan Bulan Juni: Novel

Dec 06, 2016 / Hujan Bulan Juni: Novel
At a time when racial/religious intolerance toward others has rapidly become a daily spectacle almost everywhere, we totally need to sit down and read something thought-provoking like Hujan Bulan Juni: Novel, the prose version of a ...

What I’m Reading

Oct 30, 2016 / Kubah
Tohari wrote my very favorite Indonesian novel, the venerable Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk (English translation: The Dancer), and I love his prose in general (see here), so it’s no surprise that I’m enjoying Kubah (roughly translated as Dome) very much. In fact, Kubah gets the second-most ...

Man Tiger

Sep 24, 2016 / Man Tiger
Man Tiger (or Lelaki Harimau in its original title) is Eka Kurniawan’s second novel and his second work to be translated into English. Longlisted for 2016 Man Booker International Prize, it concerns the life of the lower class ...