Reading Indonesia: 30 Books That Will Help You Understand the Southeast Asian Giant

All Things Books / Recos

About Cantik itu Luka, Child of All Nations, Footsteps, Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu, House of Glass, Kekerasan Budaya Pasca 1965: Bagaimana Orde Baru Melegitimasi Anti-Komunisme Melalui Sastra dan Film, Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk, Sergius Mencari Bacchus, Tarian Bumi, This Earth of Mankind (Buru Tetralogy #1),
and was originally published in Jakarta Globe,
Sep 06, 2018


As part of our Jakarta Globe Reading Club’s “Reading Indonesia” event on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Maxx Coffee in Lippo Mall Kemang, South Jakarta, we’re publishing this list of 30 books on Indonesian history, politics, economy, culture and literature that might help you gain a deeper understanding of the sprawling archipelago of more than 18,000 islands and 267 million people – and its long and complex story.

This is not a definitive list, not a canon of the “best books” about Indonesia, or the “must-reads,” or a list of “30 books about Indonesia you have to read before you die,” but an invitation for all of us to think about what kind of stories we want to read – and the stories we want told – about our country.

We’ve selected 30 titles to get us started. Some are major titles you can’t miss (Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s “Buru Quartet” comes to mind) and some, like the Urban Poor Consortium’s anthology “Rakyat Miskin Kota Menulis Riwayatnya Sendiri” (“The Urban Poor Write Their Own Stories”), are more obscure titles that we think deserve to be read more widely if we are to have a more nuanced understanding of our story as a nation.

Read the full article here.