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Books From Around The World

It’s fair to say that much of my recent reading has been inspired by your recommendations left in the comments, often under articles that had little to do with literature (you have such eclectic interests!). Since it shall be a slow week with my US based writers and readers celebrating Thanksgiving, I thought that it might be a good chance for all of us to share more favorite books, especially those written by the less well-known authors. (This, of course, is relative; Eka Kurniawan may not be a household name in the US, but he’s famous in his native Indonesia.) Of course, please don’t feel bound by this and share your favorite writers, poets or essayists.

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I will start with The Girl From the Coast, a novel by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Pramoedya is so famous in Indonesia that he’s usually referred to only by his first name. The story is about a girl from a backwater village who is married off to a Javanese aristocrat without realizing that she’d only be his “temporary wife” to be sent back home whenever he gets tired of her. The characters are outlined with humanism that pervades Pramoedya’s other novels, and the plot develops swiftly. It’s a good introduction to Indonesian literature, and I thank my readers who recommended it to me.

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