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Marah Rusli


In the history of Indonesian literature, Marah Roesli is noted as the first author of a novel, and as the “Father of the Modern Indonesian Novel”. Before the first novels were written in Indonesia, prose literature was more similar to folk stories. His works convey the need to move away from the strong traditional values expressed in folk tales, and embrace change and development.

He was born in Padang, qualified as a veterinary surgeon, spent a few years on the island of Sumbawa, and worked as a veterinary surgeon in Semarang for the more significant part of his life.

His novel Sitti Nurbaja was published first by Balai Pustaka in 1922. It was by far the most popular of Indonesian books before the second world war and still retained a great deal of popularity. After Sitti Nurbaya, he remained silent for a long time; however, he published two other books after his retirement in 1952: La Hami (1953) and Anak dan Kemenakan (1956). Both also published by Balai Pustaka.

His last work, a semi-autobiographical novel, “Memang Jodoh” was posthumously published in 2013 by Qanita.


Memang Jodoh
536 page(s), Qanita
Sitti Nurbaya: Kasih Tak Sampai
(Sitti Nurbaya: A Love Unrealized)
575 page(s), Balai Pustaka
La Hami
200 page(s), Balai Pustaka

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