All That Is Gone by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, trans Willem Samuels

All Things Books / Review

About All That Is Gone,
Written by Aamer Hussein, and was originally published in The Independent,
Dec 31, 2004

The first volume of the Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s epic quartet of novels set in the Dutch East Indies in the early 20th century, This Earth of Mankind, appeared in an English translation in 1982. It was followed two years later by Child of All Nations. The narrator, Minke, an aspiring writer and budding nationalist, tells of love, work and disappointment in the contrasting milieux of Javanese tradition and Dutch colonial hegemony, with a warmth and intimacy that seem to derive from personal experience.

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