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The Biography of a Newborn Baby

In this Indonesian short story, one baby’s fate is entwined with that of the nation. For the first time in his long career as a biographer, Abraham Yusra felt that he was being put to the test. Someone special had asked him to write the biography of a baby and he felt that he couldn’t refuse. But … [Read more...]


Indonesian poet and cultural critic Nirwan Dewanto explores metaphors of geography and geology. Geography is what our eyes can catch as far as vision takes them—to the surface of the earth disappearing beyond the horizon. We try to touch that surface, to own it, but in the end, what is high and … [Read more...]


There were big eyes everywhere in the darkness. Darkness that seemed to go on forever. Then every one of the eyes opened, dispelling the dark. It was 11 p.m. at a distance of 25.3 light-years. The coordinate was fifty-seven degrees south of the constellation of Taurus. Tiansun stood idly facing … [Read more...]

Ben Anderson’s Final Message to a Street Musician in Jogja

Three months after the death of Benedict Richard O’Gorman Anderson in Batu—though his body was cared for in Surabaya—the word finally reaches Palrus through a sheet of discarded newspaper that he’s picked up to wrap his shoes in. The scrawny street musician chokes up as he reads the short article on … [Read more...]

Fruit Maps

The Bio Corporation once hired a drunk engineer. The employee became known as such because he really did get drunk in the most literal sense of the word. But his drink of choice wasn’t hard liquor; in fact, he didn’t like any kind of booze. Instead, he got intoxicated by consuming the very produce … [Read more...]