Works in Translation

Cok Sawitri, translated by John H. McGlynn
Published as a part of Tropical Currents: Writing by Indonesian Women, Jan 01, 2009

First published in Mata yang Indah: Cerpen Pilihan KOMPAS 2001 as Rahim.

My name is Nagari. Thirty years of age. There is no need to explain; I understand.

. . . That evening, after my bath, my hair still wet, I heard a pounding on the door of my rented room. Three men had come to pick me up. From the sight of the jeep waiting out front; from the low hum of its engine, as light as the evening air; and from their voices, polite but firm, I knew what was happening.

The three men took me to a cold building with slippery floors. A long corridor separated what seemed to be a score or more of facing doors. The celing was so high that when I walked down the hallway or even whispered to myself, the walls threw back the sound along with a strange buzzing. The place resembled an abandoned motel. The air inside moved feebly.

Read the full story here.