Oei Hiem Hwie: The guardian of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s banned literary tetralogy

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About Pramoedya Ananta Toer,
Written by Reno Surya, and was originally published in Jakarta Post,
Sep 21, 2021


This article is the first of a two-part story on Oei Hiem Hwie, a former political prisoner and a close friend of author Pramoedya Ananta Noer who today manages a library called Medayu Agung in Surabaya.

Oei Hiem Hwie quietly smuggled the Buru Quartet, a series of novels banned under Soeharto’s rule, past the regime’s ideological enforcers.

Without his courage, one of the novels, Bumi Manusia (This Earth of Mankind), which explores the colonial period’s sociopolitical issues, would have been unknown to modern audiences. The book, which remains one of the iconic author’s most recognized works, was banned by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in 1981, allegedly because it promoted Marxist-Leninist doctrines and communism.

Read the full article here.
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