A Writer’s Haunting Trip Through the Horrors of Indonesian History

All Things Books / Interview

About Beauty Is A Wound, Man Tiger,
Written by Gillian Terzis, and was originally published in The New Yorker,
Oct 02, 2015


Eka Kurniawan was in town for the Melbourne Writers Festival, his first stop on a global publicity tour for his novels “Man Tiger” and “Beauty Is a Wound,” which have just been translated into English. The latter novel, an arresting portrait of Indonesia’s struggle for nationhood, delights in obscenity: no topic is spared from its bloodthirsty brand of satire. His dark sense of humor emerges even when he writes about the hundreds of thousands of people killed in the anti-Communist purge, of 1965. Kurniawan said he did not want to show them as “merely the victims and the oppressed.”

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