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Stephanie (@ssteph888)

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January 17, 2024 — by IDWRITERS

Last updated on January 17, 2024 at 11:40 pm




On a captivating story that chronicles the Indonesian experience of slavery in South Africa. It’s a profound story of loss of a home and ultimately, longing for the place where we’re from. I can’t remember how I came across the book, but I’m glad I did as whilst it was a relatively quick read for me, the book has left a strong impression, from its sheer beauty to the transporting and haunting qualities within it. ⁣

The book alternates between poetry and prose, which I thought was stunning. It centres on the stories of how Wulan, a nine-year-old girl finds her way to a farm in South Africa with her dad, Parto, and how they continue to hold onto their Javanese identity during their lives there. The book also touches on the lives of Wulan’s children, i.e. Abi and Restu, as well as on the yearning of her grandparents.⁣

I understand that the novel is Isna Marifa’s debut novel and the Indonesian version is titled ‘Sapaan Sang Giri’. It’s probably the first historical fiction book ever written on the topic, i.e. the people brought from Java to Cape of Good Hope, whose descendants are known as the Cape Malay people. Marifa wrote the book after being inspired by what she has learnt about the community during a visit to the country.⁣

The more I read the book, the more I’m interested in what I didn’t know. There’s so much to discover about the Indonesian culture, beyond the country itself. I love it when a book opens my eyes and fuels my curiosity!⁣

#mountainsmoreancient #sapaansanggiri #isnamarifa #indonesianliterature #fiction #historicalfiction #literaryfiction #novel #books #bookworm #booklover #bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #igbooks #stephreads #winterreading #london #inspired #motivated #weekendvibes #wintervibes #coffee #augustandpiers #gratitude #mindfulness #riseandshine⁣ #love


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