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Twilight in Djakarta

Book / Novel


Twilight in Djakarta

by Mochtar Lubis
Translated by Claire Holt

Format: Paperback, English
232 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: /9789814260657
Published by Hutchinson

View on Goodreads | Google Books



Written in the early 1960s while the author was under arrest by Indonesian authorities, this vivid dissection of social and political life in Jakarta, Indonesia reveals the dark currents of poverty, corruption and vice which course beneath the surface of one of the great cities of the Third World. The tale that unfolds has universal application as it describes the the forces that determine the lives of the rich and poor, politicians and criminals, intellectuals and simple rural immigrants alike as they struggle for survival. Twilight in Jakarta was the first Indonesian novel to be translated into English, by Claire Holt, and Lubis remains one of the country’s most well-known writers.



Though relatively short in length, Twilight in Djakarta has done an outstanding job of touching on subjects that many choose not to discuss for fear of state-sponsored persecution.
Gaby Rusli   in Twilight in Djakarta (1963) by Mochtar Lubis, an Indonesian’s Letter to His Failing Country (Asia Media, Mar 04, 2022)
An obvious metaphor can be found in the title itself, which imparts a slightly ominous, if nostalgic feel. “Twilight” connotes an ending, an unraveling which alludes to both the culminating events that brought down the Old Order but also to the physical existence of a number of key characters as they meet their sad and unfortunate fates, often violently.
Bill Dalton   in Twilight in Jakarta by Mochtar Lubis (Bali Advertiser, Jul 01, 2014)


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