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Jennifer Mackenzie reviews The Question of Red by Laksmi Pamuntjak

From where she was standing, on the backyard of the hospital, the only objects she could make out were the parts chosen by the dying light. Idlehorse carts, bamboo bushes deep in sleep, an abandoned pile of buckets. She walked on, into a garden that suddenly opened up, ending in a tight barricade of … [Read more...]

Lost Love in ‘Amba’ Never Truly Dies

If you are searching for a book that is profound, original and evokes the story of Romeo and Juliet, where love is both the big question and the answer to all, pick up a copy of “Amba.” The beautifully written novel by Laksmi Pamuntjak, a poet, food critic, essayist and short story writer, will … [Read more...]

The Rainbow Troops

WHEN it comes to learning about Indonesia from fiction, most Australian readers won't have gone much further than Christopher Koch's 1978 novel, The Year of Living Dangerously. It is a wonderful and important book, but part of its point is that it presents an outsider's view. The Rainbow Troops, … [Read more...]

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

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 … [Read more...]

Two Contemporary Indonesian Women Writers

Ayu Utami, Saman, 1998. English translation by Pamela Allen, 2005. Dewi Lestari, Supernova, 2001. English translation by Harry Aveling, 2010. Two gay men resolve to mark their tenth anniversary by writing a novel that bridges the gap between the various branches of learning. Dhimas is the writer … [Read more...]