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 about a gift of inspired leadership that the gods are planning to hand down to a worthy mortal—the legendary King Rama’s philosophy of leadership from generations past. The antagonists, the family of Kurawa brothers also struggles for possession of the god’s boon. As the story unfolds, it includes numerous secondary plots about characters from Ramayana: Wibisana, Kumbakarna, and Dasamuka. They 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:
FORTH COMING PUBLICATION:
Raumanen, a prize-winning novel by Marianne Katoppo, tells the story of Monang, a handsome but wayward Batak man, and Raumanen, a young Minahasa woman who, though educated and intelligent, is also a “soft touch” when it comes to love. As is deftly revealed by the author in this novel, even in modern day Indonesia, matters of religion and ethnicity can greatly affect–for better or worse-the course of a couple’s relationship.
Sad Stories of Today is a very explorative, satirical collection of short stories that invites the reader into a superfluous account of a young E, crocodile humans and a brutal shoot-off. Dea’s take on the short story structure is unconventional and thrives in using the urban setting, colloquial language and intertextuality.
Sermon on the Mount is the story of one man’s spiritual fulfillment. The story is told through the eyes of Barman, an older man whose son moves him to a luxurious vacation home in the mountains where he is expected to live out the rest of his days in peace. A young and attractive women is assigned to care for him. Though all of his physical needs have been accounted for, Barman is in need of spiritual sustenance and thus begins his quest.
A terrifying and evil king, Jarasandha, is terrorizing the world—taking over countries, imprisoning just and popular kings, and ravaging havoc on communities around the world. The heroic Pandhawa family of five brothers craft a plan together with Kresna to put on a very special ceremony of offerings that will help forge peace in the world. Jarasandha, meanwhile, has made his own pact with the evil forces in the underworld, to sacrifice one hundred kings in order to secure his power. He needs three more leaders, as he has already taken control over ninety-seven. As the three leaders Arjuna, Kresna, and Bima face off with Jarasandha in his kingdom of Giribajra, a grand debate begins on the nature of belief, religion, and rituals—Jarasandha insisting he is in the right, and Kresna debating his every point. The story comes to a climax when the Pandhawa actually do go through with their ceremony of offerings, and various challenges to their own peace of mind force them to examine their own beliefs.
Another books in this package:
Shackles is the story of a love triangle. Dr Sukartono and his independent-minded wife, Tini, are facing marital problems when the singer Rohayah enters into the mix. Unlike Tini, Rohayah is ready to provide Sukartono with the devotion he lacks at home. This story illustrates the confusion experienced by many Indonesians of the pre-independence generation as they struggled to overcome problems stemming from their tradition-bound society.
The 1922 novel Sitti Nurbaya, retains the poignancy that made it a modern Indonesian classic. Its social impact was great and the indignities suffered by the women in this novel are still controversial topics todays. Rich in description, dense with ironic foreboding and the inexorable workings of fate, Sitti Nurbaya is so much more than Samsu and Sitti Nurbaya’s ill-fated love story. The novel also documents the conflict between the younger generation and their elder’s stifling traditions.
Intan Paramaditha’s stories are infused with gothic and horror themes. Depicted with a feminine sensibility, the majority of her protagonists are frequently femme fatales or madwomen in the attic who do not easily fit the social order. Her stories contain twists that both delight and disturb.
Many of Gunawan Maryanto’s stories are reinterpretations of Javanese literary texts which themselves were based on or inspired by episodes in the in the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian texts. Through their retelling, Gunawan shows himself to be part of a long tradition of self-examination and speculation about human motives, dharma, and fate.
Supernova presents a series of intertwined and unconventional love stories with a bit of science and spirituality added to the mix. The characters are urban and tech-savvy youngsters who are caught in different forms of contemporary social conflict. Supernova is a highly-acclaimed novel. The poet Taufiq Ismail wrote, “A renewal has taken place in Indonesia’s literary scene over the past decade. Supernova is intelligent, unique, and a truly exciting exploration into the world of science, spirituality and the nature of love.” The literary critic Jakob Soemardjo also said, “This is an attractive novel by a young writer. It is an intellectual work in the form of pop art, set in the real world. It opposes old values with new ways of understanding, so that readers can see the world in a different way.” Supernova: The Knight, The Princess and The Falling Star is the first in a cycle of a monumental work that consists of six novels.
S Ann Dunham’s Surviving Against the Odds bears witness to her knowledge of and affection for Indonesia. By the mid1980s, Dunham had begun to see the audience for her work as made up of not just academics, but also Indonesians, aid workers, and foreign analysts whose findings affect the lives of ordinary Indonesians. Rather than going with the academic flow, Dunham stayed true to a research program, all in an effort to speak the truth about power and policy making.
Putu Wijaya’s debut novel, Telegram, was a literary trendsetter for its synthesis of reality and fantasy. Unapologetically disorienting, the text offers a compelling portrait of Jakarta and Bali in the early 1970s. The novel’s first-person narrator is a Balinese journalist living in Jakarta who receives a telegram informing on his mother’s illness. But nothing is as it seems in Telegram. As readers are brought into the stream of consciousness meanderings of this sympathetic yet troubled and unreliable narrator, what is real and what is not becomes increasingly difficult to tell.
Rendra (1935-2009) is one of Indonesia’s most important poets and dramatists. During his lifetime he embodied the Indonesian sense of what a true artist should be. He was a flamboyant personality, often dubbed “the peacock”. His dedication to his art was absolute, and he gave honest and creative expression to his emotions and thoughts. His writing used a simple, flexible long-limbed free verse that is attractive and immediately accessible.
Raised within a mystical Javanese milieu, Rendra saw nature, the individual and society as potentially forming one harmonious whole. In his poetry and his plays this commitment to personal authenticity and social justice was expressed through stories. He wrote about all sorts of people: himself, his family children and grandchildren, those he met in daily life, the poor, the marginalized, victims of social injustice, women and children forced to live without love. Rendra’s criticism of New Order government development policies led to his detention and the banning of his public reading and performance of his works for almost a decade. His message to those who held power but lacked compassion was simple: “we say NO! and NO! to you”. To life itself, he said: “be and continue to grow” – be present, be centered, and at the same time be constantly in motion, constantly flowing. This book is his testimony to the sacredness of life in all its beauty.
Available in e-book
In The Anatomy of Travel, the distinctiveness of Gerson Poyk’s writing can be seen in the way he portrays local color. This color is found in the themes of his stories, in the characteristics of the protagonists, the names of the characters, the settings where the stories take place, and the plots of his stories, which are simple and straightforward. The nineteen short stories in this collection cover spiritual and social issues in rural society, the difficulties of urban life, and social intercourse with foreigners. Through this collection of short stories, the reader truly travels and is able to taste and smell the colors of the author’s world.
The Atheist, first published in 1949, portrays the spiritual and intellectual crisis of Hasan, a young Muslim who is raised to be devout but comes to doubt his faith after becoming involved with a group of modern young people. Upon publication, religious thinkers, Marxist-Leninists, as well as anarchists decried the novel for not explaining their ideologies in more detail; but literary figures and many in the general public praised it. The novel, considered to be a masterpiece of modern Indonesian literature, is included in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Literary Works.
I La Galigo, the vast Bugis epic myth, is one of the most voluminous works in world literature. The cycle is set in Luwuq, both cradle of Bugis culture and the intial residence on earth of the gods and their descendants. The Birth of I La Galigo is a bilingual publication, utilizing both Indonesian and English, and it represents a contemporary retelling of one of the epic’s most popular episodes.