The Rainbow Troops: A Visit with Indonesia’s Bestselling Author

All Things Books / Review

About Laskar Pelangi (Tetralogi Laskar Pelangi #1), The Rainbow Troops: A Novel,
Written by Pallavi Aiyar, and was originally published in Los Angeles Review of Books,
Aug 30, 2013


THE COMING OF AGE ADVENTURES of a group of impoverished children in a remote island off the coast of Sumatra, may not sound like the kind of story to make the bestseller list. Yet, in Indonesia, Laskar Pelangi or The Rainbow Troops, a book about two village teachers and their rag-tag clutch of elementary school children has touched a chord, or rather, millions of chords. The book has gone on to sell five million copies, making its author, Andrea Hirata, the best selling writer of all time in the country, and the only one in recent history to enjoy international success. Translated into 21 languages, The Rainbow Troops is now available in 87 countries and made its US debut earlier this year.

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