On November 12, 1991, the Indonesian military opened fire on protestors in Dili, East Timor. Hundreds were killed and accounts of this massacre sparked international outrage. In Jakarta, a cover-up began immediately and the Indonesian mass media was cautioned to tow the official line. Seno Gumira Ajidarma refused to do so and transformed documentary evidence into semi-fictional form and published it as novel. This novel is a triptych, the first two of which—“Jazz” and “Perfume”—should be easily recognizable to most readers but “the Incident” is a collage of documents on an event in Indonesian history euphemistically referred to by the same name.
In August 1883 massive volcanic eruptions destroyed two-thirds of the island of Krakatau, in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java. It was the day the world exploded. A tsunami wreaked havoc in the region, causing countless deaths, and shock waves were recorded around the world. Ash from the eruption affected global weather patterns for years.
Since that time Krakatau has been the subject of more than 1,000 reports and publications, both scholarly and literary but the only surviving account of the event written by an indigenous eyewitness—Syair Lampung Karam (The Tale of Lampung Submerged), by Muhammad Saleh—has only now, after 130 years, found its way into English translation.
Thus begins Muhammad Saleh’s account. Written in the form of a syair, a classical Malay rhymed poem, Krakatu: The Tale of Lampung Submerged, sheds light on local responses to the widespread devastation in the region and enriches our knowledge of the Krakatau disaster.
Lies, Loss, and Longing portrays the lives of those who survive violence. Sukanta delves deeply into sufferings, using his keen eye for the mundane to expose extraordinary contradictions. Many of the characters in this short story collection are faced with sad endings; nonetheless, there is strength in his characters that gives them, and us, insights into the predicaments and the changes that must happen in Indonesia. Sukanta’s work transcends location and the longing he evokes in his stories are shared by all of us.
Acep Zamzam Noor’s poems wrap silence around images of death and failure. Beauty and, of course, life itself is transitory. They are things that quickly pass, reminds Noor. The reader, when trying to uncover the meaning of the poet’s surreal scenes, learns much about the meaning of his own existence.
Buku ini berisi terjemahan bahasa Indonesia transkrip lakon Makutharama yang dipentaskan dalam tiga gaya: pakeliran klasik (garap tradisi Radya Pustaka), pakeliran ngarap semalam, dan pakeliran padat. Makutharama adalah ajaran luhur mengenai kepemimpinan warisan Prabu Rama. Saat itu dunia dilanda beragam bencana yang menyebabkan penderitaan rakyat, dan diperburuk oleh pemerintahan korup. Arjuna yang merasa prihatin atas keadaan ini pun berjuang mendapatkan pepakem Makutharama tersebut agar situasi dunia menjadi lebih baik.
The world has been struck by multiple natural disasters (earthquakes, land slides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis), causing great suffering for the common people. Various corrupt officials are taking advantage of the situation, and things are getting worse. Arjuna, the princely hero from the Pandhawa family, has vowed to do something to help. His advisor Semar tells him of a gift of inspired leadership the gods are planning to hand down to a worthy mortal—the legendary King Rama’s philosophy of leadership from generations past. As the antagonist family of Kurawa brothers also struggles for possession of the god’s boon the story unfolds, including numerous secondary plots about characters from the Ramayana (Wibisana, Kumbakarna, Dasamuka) who have yet to have peace in eternity, and are still working out their destiny. Finally, Arjuna meets with an ascetic up in the mountains, and receives the philosophy of inspired leadership which will lead to a more peaceful future.
Another books in this package:
Warih Wisatana’s poems often present an unusual scene, which invites the reader to question the reality of that scene. His poems are not meant to shock, however: their voices are gentle, not forceful. He delves into the cultural heritage of the archipelago without the intention of revitalizing local color or political identity.
Bali has long been one of the most famous travel destinations in the world. With its two million visitors a year, foreign-conceived notions about this island are numberless. But what do the Balinese think of their island and their culture? What do fellow Indonesians think of Bali? Menagerie 4 offers an insider’s view of the Island of the Gods that often contrasts starkly with the popular image manufactured by tourism agencies and travel magazines.
Regardless of their skin color or belief system, women all over the world experience sexual violence. Menagerie 5 features a dozen stories
by twelve authors focusing on various aspects of sexual violence towards women, from human trafficking to prostitution and the plight of female guest workers abroad. This collection includes poems by the missing poet- activist Wiji Thukul, reproductions of protest posters produced by Kelompok Rakyat Biasa, and a photographic essay on the 1999 election campaign.
Following the so-called Communist coup of 1965, hundreds of leftist Indonesians were unable to return home. In Indonesia, numerous intellectuals were arrested and interned. Menagerie 6 includes ten short stories and 17 poems by Indonesian exile authors as well as two short stories by “domestic” exile writers and two biographical stories of former political prisoners. Collectively, the materials in this collection present a small but evocative part of the Indonesian exile experience.
Since the end of the New Order in 1998, the demand to revise and reevaluate Indonesian modern history became more intense. To most historians, the valuation of the New Order could not be done before fathoming the 1965 events. Memories on the events needed to be traced. This book presents the testimonies of eleven political prisoners from 1965 who survived those traumatic moments.
Mirah of Banda is the tragic life story of Mirah. Kidnapped from Java, five-year old Mirah is taken to the Banda Islands. The story then becomes a personal account of her life on a nutmeg plantation during the Dutch colonial era, the Japanese Occupation, and the Indonesian Revolution. Mirah’s account includes her experiences as a contract nutmeg picker and the plantation owner’s concubine. The fate of her daughter, Lili, when she is taken away to be a “comfort woman” to Japanese soldiers, is heartbreaking.
Morphology of Desire gives a generous introduction to the writing by the internationally acclaimed Indonesian poet, Dorothea Rosa Herliany. Through a distinctive mix of striking imagery and boldness of voice, the poet sets out to destroy many of the common assumptions about everyday life and human relationships. As a woman and a poet, she is doubly an outsider. Her blatant departure, in form as well as content, from the accepted conventions of society (which intensifies through the progression of her work) is remarkable, not only in its personal and political ramifications, but also in its emotional and imaginative tenor. This book will speak to readers who are interested in Indonesia, women’s writing, and in poetry in general.
Lombok is now most well-known in the West as the site of a disastrous earthquake, which, in late 2018, brought havoc to the province, including the island of Gili Trawangan. In this murder mystery, Arthur Pelham, a British anthropologist, and his colleagues who have just arrived in Gili Trawangan, become caught up in a spiralling intrigue. In one encounter, they are offered an expensive watch, apparently found on the beach by a pearl seller. The find of the watch is quickly followed by the discovery of a dead body, and Pelham realises that there is more to island life than sea, sand and all-night parties.
Museum of Pure Desire contains choice examples of poetry whose richness derives from their destruction of the constraints that surround the genre. Dewanto’s poems challenge the reader to stop and reconsider what first comes to mind upon their reading and to consider an entirely different interpretation altogether; they pull the reader into a state of tension between extreme juxtaposition and hidden logic, between childlike playfulness and calculated detachment.
The novel Never the Twain ranks among modern Indonesian fiction’s most popular works. Hanafi, the novel’s protagonist, is madly in love with Corrie du Bussee, a beautiful Eurasian, though he is betrothed to his cousin Rapiah. The romantic conflict serves as an allegory for pre-independent Indonesia when, as it struggled to have a national identity, the nation had to choose between adhering to traditional values or adopting Western notions of progress and humanity.