Drought by Iwan Simatupang

All Things Books / Review

About Drought,
Written by Bill Dalton, and was originally published in Bali Advertiser,
May 05, 2017

Set in the 1960s, Drought is the story of an ex-student, ex-soldier and ex-bandit who transmigrates to restart life as a farmer. In 1972, whenDrought was published, transmigration programs were well underway in southern Sumatra, the setting for the novel, where a vast patchwork of settlements and many racial groups occupied the region. Living conditions were supposed to have been better than on the transmigrant’s home islands, but many of the communities failed because of underfunding, cultural and social conflicts, an ill-prepared resettlement infrastructure, a lack of marketing opportunities for produce and an inadequate supply of tools and equipment coupled with poor farming skills. It was rather like transplanting a malignant cancer from the breast onto the leg.

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