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:
Reading Manna’s collection of poetry is a very orally and aurally therapeutic process. His free-verse and continuously repetitive rhythm and movement intertwines familiar images of Indonesia, in particular of Manna’s home city Surabaya. Simultaneously, he treats language in a way that evokes very unusual and sensory moments for the reader.
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.
Menagerie 7: People Like Us brings together twenty stories by or about “people like us:” Indonesian gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. This is a book that should have “come out” a long time ago. Not only do the stories disprove the persistent yet baseless myth that all forms of sexuality and sexual behavior that fall outside the norm of socially acceptable heterosexual behavior are not, somehow, “Indonesian,” but they also show that the Indonesian archipelago is as multi-sexual as it is multiethnic.
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.
Sunlie invites the reader into sometimes, quite a surreal microcosm of his Chinese-Indonesian heritage and identity. This is a collection of short stories that is very culturally and historically multifaceted and describes witty accounts of people and ghost-spirits within a local community, exploring colonial, animistic and traditional traits of the places that he has created.
Between 1983 and 1985 a series of extrajudicial executions of criminals took place throughout Indonesia in which bodies were found shot and left in public places. The killings, which were later learned to be a government effort to control crime, terrified the unsuspecting public. Three of the stories in this collection are related to this confusing and frightening time. All of the stories deal with despair—sometimes tender, sometimes absurd, sometimes grotesque. These stories touch on moments in the lives of people—assassins, office workers, abandoned wives, children—each struggling to deal with precious memories of the past, bewildering scenes in the present and alarming changes of an uncertain future.
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.
In a Gus tf Sakai story, nothing is as it seems. The unexpected is always happening. Supernatural events occur in ordinary settings, turning lives and reality on end. A three-hundred-year-old Torajan mummy refuses to stay dead. A painting takes on a life of its own and paints the painter. Gus tf Sakai’s esoteric tales range across the myriad cultures of the Indonesian archipelago, crossing time and space. They lure the reader into their mystery and reveal the author’s deep sense of humanity, leaving us deeply involved in the lives and predicaments of his characters.