The first ever novel by a Papuan author, this story of generosity, greed, and resilience follows the friendship of several underwater and amphibious creatures. In this ecological parable, John Waromi shows the effects of “harvesting the storm” and reaping the results of actions beyond our control. He sheds light on not only the ecology of the southern Papuan coast but also the lives of its people and their culture.
Indonesian author Seno Gumira Ajidarma once wrote, “While journalism speaks with facts, literature speaks with the truth.” The truths found in the fourteen stories in this collection derive from the lives of women in contemporary Indonesia and the ways they manage to carve new spaces for themselves in difficult circumstances. While their victories are not always grand, these women roar as they proclaim their tales.
In the Small Hours of the Night, a collection of 24 Sundanese short stories, is the first collection of its kind ever to be translated into English. The stories deal with a variety of subjects, ranging from everyday-politics where corruption is rife to stories of village life and the trials faced by villagers forced to confront the waves of modernization. There are also stories which deal with the significant historical events of the last seventy years and finally—as one might expect, since the Sundanese are known for the frankness with which they describe sexual attraction—there are also stories of love.
Authors whose work may be found in this collection include Aan Merdéka Permana, Absurditas Malka, Dadan Wahyudin, Déni A. Fajar, Déni A. Héndarsyah, Érwin Wahyudi, Fitria Puji Lestari, Héna Sumarni, Lugiena Dé, Mamat Sasmita, Mulyana Surya Atmaja, Nina Rahayu Nadéa, Usép Romli H.M., and Yus R. Ismail.
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.
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.
In this coming-of-age novel four Indonesian high-school students seek to discover what their future will bring and find answers to their questions about sexuality. With characters ranging from cross-dressing hairdressers, drag queens, and rent boys to fanatic Muslims and low-life security personnel, the action of this tragicomedy moves between an Islamic boarding school and a gay bar in Jakarta, and in so doing illuminates the mindset and yearnings of a new generation of Indonesians.
Indonesian version: Bukan Perjaka
Outside of Indonesia, little is known about the country’s writers and their works. Helping to change that situation is the annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) which, since the festival’s first incarnation in 2004, has brought more than 350 Indonesian authors to Ubud to stand alongside their fellow authors from around the world. UWRF is committed to introducing Indonesian writers to an international audience—not just established authors, but also emerging ones. Although this collection is but a small sample of literary works by emerging authors who have joined the festival over the years, it will introduce you to the heart of Indonesia: to a world of hardship and heartbreak, conflict and peace. Each and every story adds to the sum of its parts: the complex and rich culture of one of the world’s most misunderstood nations. In this volume’s stories and poems, penned by authors from Sumatra to Papua of different ethnic groups, languages, and religions, the common thread is the affirming voice of human expression. John McGlynn & Laura Noszlopy (editors), selected the works of Adek Dedees, Amanche Franck OE Ninu, Arif Fitra Kurniawan, Benazir Nafilah, Budy Utamy, Dewi Ria Utari, Emil Amir, Fitrawan Umar, I Nyoman Manda, Ida Ahdiah, Ilham Q Moehiddin, Imam Muhtarom, Irianto Ibrahim, Jaladara, Kurnia Effendi, Mario F Lawi, Mashuri, Mugya Syahreza Santosa, Niduparas Erlang, Olyrison, Reda Gaudiamo, Sunlie Thomas Alexander, Uda Agus, Wa Ode Wulan Ratna, Zeffry Alkatiri, Zelfeni Wimra, and Zen Hae for the anthology.
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.
Arrested as a leftist-activist in 1966, Putu Oka Sukanta was imprisoned until 1976. In The Starling, he speaks of the terrible degradation of humanity and the inner strength and solidarity of comradeship which emerge in the extreme conditions of imprisonment. The poems go on to explore the painful steps in the reconstruction of life and social meaning after the prison gates have opened.