Sunday Book Review: ‘Beauty Is a Wound’ and ‘Man Tiger’ by Eka Kurniawan

All Things Books / Review

About Beauty Is A Wound, Man Tiger,
Written by Jon Fasman, and was originally published in The New York Times,
Sep 09, 2015

In what is presumably late 1965, as Indonesia is racked by violence in the wake of a failed coup blamed on Communists, a gravedigger named Kamino hits upon a novel method of seduction: He allows himself to be possessed by the spirit of a recently murdered Communist so that the Communist’s daughter can speak with her father one last time. In gratitude, she cooks Kamino dinner. A week later, after Kamino has buried 1,232 Communists in one mass grave, she accepts his marriage proposal. By the time the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, Eka Kurniawan’s fictional Javanese city of Halimunda is “filled with corpses sprawled out in the irrigation channels and on the outskirts of the city, in the foothills and on the riverbanks, in the middle of bridges and under bushes. Most of them had been killed as they tried to escape.”

Read the full article here.