The Rose of Cikembang

Book / Novel

by Kwee Tek Hoay
Translated by George A. Fowler

Format: Paperback, English
148 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: /9786029144246
Published Jan 01, 2012 by Lontar Foundation

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First published in 1927 as Bunga Roos dari Tjikembang, Kwee Tek Hoay’s The Rose of Cikembangis an excellent example of the so-called peranakan literature of the Dutch East Indies that flourished between 1900 and the Japanese Occupation beginning in 1942.
Highly sentimental in tone, the novel is rich in many of the controversial themes that Kwee was famous for: interracial love and the lives of its offspring, fate and karma, and mysticism and reincarnation. The Rose of Cikembang was reprinted twice and twice made into a movie. The film “The Rose of Cikembang” is noted as one of the East Indies’ first talking picture shows.

Leaving the scholars to unpick the story as they may—for the everyday reader IMO, The Rose of Cikembang needs to be read in that context as an element of transmission of values that we do not share, and simply enjoyed as light entertainment.
Lisa Hill in The Rose of Cikembang, by Kwee Tek Hoay, translated by George A Fowler (ANZ LitLovers, Feb 28, 2020)

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