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A Young Novelist Challenges Indonesia’s Taboos

What Media Says




In this article: Ayu Utami

Written by Jonathan Napack, and was originally published in New York Times

May 27, 2000

For Indonesia, 1998 was a time of two revolutions, political and cultural. Suharto's downfall and the subsequent election of President Abdurrahman Wahid received worldwide attention, but no one outside noticed the appearance of "Saman," a novella by an unknown 27-year-old named Ayu Utami. The book quickly became a phenomenon, reigniting the kind of public debate that had atrophied under Suharto's regime. It touched on virtually all of Indonesia's taboos: extra-marital sex, political repression, the relationship between Christians and Muslims, hatred of the Chinese.

Read the full article here.



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