About Our First Indonesian Nominated Books

1. Si Parasit Lajang: Seks, Sketsa, dan Cerita (“The Single Parasite: Sex, Sketches, and Stories", by Ayu Utami)

This is a compilation of essays that were published on djakarta! magazine. Ayu Utami has written it in digestible words that are easy to understand by cosmo readers. The words are just flowing, frankly without afraid of hitting anything in between.    

The single parasite. That is Ayu Utami. Unashamed of saying that she is a parasite, a bloodsucker whom living on other material, taking advantages without mercy.
“Exactly! That’s me, the single parasite. Living in my parents’ house, paying no electricity, going out to play in the morning, going to work in the afternoon, writing at night, without ever thinking about feeding the dog or washing the car. Who am I to my mom except a sponger? (as published on djakarta! magazine, April 6, 2001).

More than that, she bluntly tells readers that she is one of those people who do not want to get married. To her, marriage will always become a pressure for women. Although we always say that being married is a choice, women would still be mocked as old maids, unwanted, etc. Solely for that reason, she has added “10+1 Reasons Not To Get Married” on the last page of her book.
“If marriage is like a market, people who decide not to get married are actually helping to reduce wife supply, just as OPEC controls the oil supply. I believe building a family is good for other people.”
In the end, you may agree or disagree with her views, but surely would want to read more of her works. – Paperback, 180 pages.

2. Kartini Nggak Sampai Eropa (“Kartini Never Reached Europe”, by Sammaria)

The book became one of Khatulistiwa Literary Award Nominees for Young Talented Writer last year. It is about two best friends, Anti and Tesa, who were studying in Germany and France. They are sharing about their lives through series of emails. It is like secretly reading personal emails, which are directed to somebody else during 2004 and 2005. While Anti is sharing all about her Caucasian boyfriends (or what Indonesians called as “bule”), Tesa is telling about her abundant social works that she does after finishing her architecture study in Germany. As we go through the book, we would find something more serious than a bunch of love stories and girls talk. They talk about everything, from East and West cultures, social realities, sex, corruption, to spirituality. There is “Kartini spirit” in Anti and Tesa (Kartini was a legendary hero from Central Java who fought for gender equality during colonial periods). – Soft cover, 236 pages.

3. Menjadi Tjamboek Berdoeri (“Being Barbed Lash”, Memoir of Kwee Thiam Tjing, by Kwee Thiam Tjing) 

Kwee Thiam Tjing was a reporter known as “Tjamboek Berdoeri”. This book is written from July 22, 1971 to July 28, 1973. It is about his memories during Dutch colonial periods, Japanese colonial periods, until the early years of Indonesian independence. This is actually like a continuation from his memoir that was written anonymously (Indonesia dalam Api dan Bara). From here and there, readers would know more about the situations happened during those crucial moments in Indonesia. Most names that were being hidden in the previous book are being exposed in this compilation. This book was edited by Arief W. Djati and Ben Anderson. Read more review written by Tempo Online magazine here. – Paperback, 296 pages.


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