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Orang-orang Bloomington

Book / Collection of Short Stories


Orang-orang Bloomington

by Budi Darma

Format: Paperback, Indonesian
246 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: 9793019158/
Published Jan 01, 2004 by Metafor Publishing

View on Goodreads | Google Books



In these seven stories of The People from Bloomington our peculiar narrators find themselves in the most peculiar of circumstances and encounter the most peculiar of people. Set in Bloomington, Indiana, where the author lived as a graduate student in the 1970s, this is far from the idyllic portrait of small-town America. Rather, sectioned into apartment units and rented rooms, and gridded by long empty streets and distances traversable only by car, it’s a place where the solitary can all too easily remain solitary; where people can at once be obsessively curious about others, yet fail to form genuine connections with anyone. The characters feel their loneliness acutely and yet deliberately estrange others. Budi Darma paints a realist world portrayed through an absurdist frame, morbid and funny at the same time.

For decades, Budi Darma has influenced and inspired many writers, artists, filmmakers, and readers in Indonesia, yet his stories also transcend time and place. With The People from Bloomington, Budi Darma draws us to a universality recognized by readers around the world–the cruelty of life and the difficulties that people face in relating to each other while negotiating their own identities. The stories are not about “strangeness” in the sense of culture, race, and nationality. Instead, they are a statement about how everyone, regardless of nationality or race, is strange, and subject to the same tortures, suspicions, yearnings, and peculiarities of the mind.

 


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All in all, however, Orang-Orang Bloomington by Mr. Budi Darma is a classic to start off if people want to know more about Indonesian literature, though not about our culture because that’s not what he’s talking about here.
Ratih Dwi Astuti   in Orang-Orang Bloomington (Personal Blog, Apr 19, 2022)
I really admire the crude beauty and poignancy in Budi Darma's writing (he reminds me of John Steinbeck - but Steinbeck's is way more eloquent), but not his absurdism side.
Fanda Classiclit   in Orang-Orang Bloomington (People from Bloomington) by Budi Darma (Personal Blog, Mar 22, 2022)


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