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    Marah Rusli

ISBN: 9789798083792

Sitti Nurbaya

by: Marah Rusli

Siti Nurbaya by Marah Rusli is a classic novel that remains poignant even today. When it was first published, the novel made great impact on the region which was then known as the Dutch East Indies. But the novel stays relevant; the injustice experienced by key female characters in the novel is still a controversial topic in today’s Indonesia. Rich in descriptions, dense with foreboding, and filled with the inexorable workings of fate, Siti Nurbaya is much more than Samsu and Siti Nurbaya’s ill-fated love story. Siti Nurbaya documents the conflict between the dreams of a younger generation and stifling traditions. First published in 1928, Siti Nurbaya is still in print today and has been translated into several languages. HB Jassin, the prominent Indonesian literary critic, named Marah Rusli the first Indonesian modern novelist.

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Siti Nurbaya by Marah Rusli is a classic novel that remains poignant even today. When it was first published, the novel made great impact on the region which was then known as the Dutch East Indies. But the novel stays relevant; the injustice experienced by key female characters in the novel is still a controversial topic in today’s Indonesia.  Rich in descriptions, dense with foreboding, and filled with the inexorable workings of fate, Siti Nurbaya is much more than Samsu and Siti Nurbaya’s ill-fated love story. Siti Nurbaya documents the conflict between the dreams of a younger generation and stifling traditions. First published in 1928, Siti Nurbaya is still in print today and has been translated into several languages. HB Jassin, the prominent Indonesian literary critic, named Marah Rusli the first Indonesian modern novelist.

ISBN: 9789798083792
Publish Date: 2011
Page Count: 320

Marah Rusli was born in Padang, West Sumatra, on August 7, 1889. The only child of a civil service district head in West Sumatra, he was educated at a Dutch-medium school in Padang and thereafter at the influential Raja’s School in Bukittinggi. Upon graduation in 1910, he entered the government-run Veterinary School and, after
graduation, commenced his lifelong career in veterinary service. During his time of services as a government veterinarian, he had postings in Sumbawa and throughout Java.

In 1911, Marah Rusli married a woman from Bogor, West Java, Nyai Raden Ratna Kecana Wati. Although this marriage was against his parents’ wishes, it proved to be a happy and lasting one that produced three children.

In his role as a writer, in 1926 Marah Rusli co-authored the first report on Lepora bubalorum, a form of leprosy in water buffalo found only in Indonesia but it is for his fictional work that he is well known. In addition to Sitti Nurbaya, he also wrote two other works of fiction, but neither of these is generally considered an equal toSitti Nurbaya: A Love Unrealized. First published in 1928, Sitti Nurabaya is still in print today and has been translated into several foreign languages.

In the history of Indonesian literature, H.B. Jassin, the preeminent Indonesian
literary critic, named Marah Rusli the first modern Indonensian novelist.
Marah Rusli died in Bandung in 1968. In 1969 he was posthumously named
as recipient of a special literary award by the government of Indonesia

Translator :George A. Fowler
George A Fowler lived and traveled widely in the Asia Pacific region for over thirty years, first as a Marine, then as a student of Chinese and Malay, and finally for twenty-three years as a commercial banker. He co-authored Pertamina: Indonesian National Oil and Java, A Garden Continuum while living in Indonesia in the early 1970s. George received a BA from St Michael’s College, the University of Toronto, in 1975, and a Master of Arts in International Studies (China Studies) from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in 2002. He has translated Marah Rusli’s classic Indonesian Malay novel Sitti Nurbaya: A Love Unrealized (Lontar, 2011), Old Town by Chinese writer Lin Zhe (Amazon Crossing, 2011), The Golden Road and Life Under Mao Zedong’s Rule by Hong Kong writer Zhang Da-Peng (CreateSpace, 2012 and 2013, respectively), The Rose of Cikembang, a popular novel of the late 1920s Netherlands East Indies by the Indonesian writer Kwee Tek Hoay (Lontar, 2013) and Ceremony by famed Dayak poet and novelist Korrie Layun Rampan (Lontar, 2014). George and his wife, Scholastica Auyong, currently live near Seattle, where he is a full-time freelance translator of Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, and Tagalog, and is finally learning Vietnamese.

“Sitti Nurbaya”

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