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Eka Kurniawan’s brutal novel on Indonesian masculinity is not for the faint-hearted

Book Chronicles / Review


In this article:
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash


Written by Bron Sibree, originally published in SCMP

Jul 19, 2017

After Man Tiger and Beauty Is a Wound, the third work by the literary sensation to be translated into English is an unflinching examination of physical and sexual violence. Eka Kurniawan first ignited international interest in 2015, with the English translation of his 2004 novel, Man Tiger. By the time it hit the Man Booker Prize longlist in 2016, the first novel by an Indonesian author to do so, he had been likened to Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie, and pronounced the heir to Indonesian literary icon Pramoedya Ananta Toer. But if critics were ecstatic in their praise of Man Tiger , the first English translation of Kurniawan’s extraordinary 2002 debut, Beauty Is a Wound – a 498-page epic released a few months after Man Tiger – sent them into overdrive, with The Economist declaring that Kurniawan “may be Southeast Asia’s most ambitious writer in a generation”.

Read the full article here.



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