Book Stories

Oedipus or the Tiger

Sep 18, 2016 / Man Tiger
The harimau or weretiger is an integral part of S E Asian folklore. Weretigers can be guardian spirits or demons — they reportedly inhabit villages where they live as ordinary people by day and become ...

‘Twilight in Jakarta’ – A portrait of a nation on the brink of disintegration

Sep 05, 2016 / Twilight in Jakarta
Among its many virtues, perhaps the most striking thing about Mochtar Lubis’ Twilight in Jakarta is that although written more than half a century ago in the 1950s, the novel illustrates that the fundamental tensions ...

Sepotong Senja untuk Pacarku

Aug 29, 2016 / Sepotong Senja untuk Pacarku
Add a poetic style to surrealism and you’ll get beautiful narratives contained in Sepotong Senja untuk Pacarku. First published in 2002, and then later in a new edition in 2016, this book by senior Indonesian writer ...

In Other Words review: Goenawan Mohamad and the essence of Indonesia

Aug 26, 2016 / In Other Words: Forty Years of Essays
The meaning of nation is never far from Goenawan Mohamad’s thoughts. It infiltrates even his most personal reflections. “Sometimes I wonder what could possibly have crossed my father’s mind in the few moments before he ...

Lyrical, bawdy, experimental, political: There aren’t enough adjectives for this novel

Aug 20, 2016 / Man Tiger
A young man within whom lurks a white tigress. No, really. Eka Kurniawan’s Man Tiger (2015) is almost a literary child of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) and Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a ...

‘O’ a dangerous tale on The Law of the Jungle

Jul 21, 2016 / O
Charles Darwin defined The Law of the Jungle as “the principle that those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful”. The jungle is a place full of competition and individuals fighting ...

New voice in Indonesian poetry

Jul 18, 2016 / Sergius Mencari Bacchus
A young poet that explores homosexuality through his work offers a breath of fresh air to the Indonesian literary scene. Norman Erikson Pasaribu, 26, said he was thrilled when he found out that his poetry collection Sergius Mencari Bacchus (Sergius Searches for Bacchus) had won a Jakarta Arts Council poetry manuscript competition last year. The competition was the first to be carried out by the art council after a long 14-year hiatus.

The unfinished story of Amba

Jun 27, 2016 / Amba: Sebuah Novel
Berlin, I am in love: Laksmi is currently living in Berlin, writing her third novel, Srikandi Four years after the release of Laksmi Pamuntjak’s debut novel Amba, the book still generates many stories, as well ...

Malam Terakhir

Jun 27, 2016 / Malam Terakhir
Although it’s the third book by Leila S. Chudori I read, Malam Terakhirwas actually her first work ever published. I didn’t have any expectations of this one, I didn’t dare to, since I’ve read the other ...

A Beastly Tale – “Man Tiger” by Eka Kurniawan

Jun 26, 2016 / Man Tiger
I love a good opening sentence; a sentence which surprises, intrigues and with just a few words draws the reader into the story. Eka Kurniawan’s novel, Man Tiger, opens with such a sentence: “On the ...