Man of Letters: Goenawan Mohamad’s Faith in Writing: Forty Years of Essays

All Things Books / Review

About Faith in Writing: Forty Years of Essays,
Written by Andreas Winardi, and was originally published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal,
Jun 01, 2016

Simple yet attractive—that is my first impression of this book. The cover immediately grabs my attention: the image of a man composed of letters is a brilliant way to tell readers that the author, Goenawan Mohamad, is himself a man of letters. The second thing that piques my interest is the title: Faith in Writing: Forty Years of Essays. The question that immediately comes to my mind is how can a man write consistently, persistently and faithfully for four decades? There must be something special about a man who has kept the faith for so long, despite personal setbacks. I later learn that Goenawan is indeed special; he draws his inspiration from various sources, including his bitter and traumatic experiences. This is a man able to transmute violence and tragedy into a collection of essays filled with valuable lessons and hope.

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