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Child of All Nations

$23.70

Pramoedya Ananta Toer has been compared to John Steinbeck (The Washington Post), Nadine Gordimer (The Nation), and Charles Dickens (Publishers Weekly). He shares with Naguib Mahfouz the ability to “achieve what few writers today are able to accomplish: drawing the reader, body and soul, into another world” (Seattle Times). But the Chicago Tribune’s comparison to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is particularly apt. Not only is Pramoedya a writer of staggering depth and power, he is also one of his country’s most suppressed dissidents. All his work is banned in his native Indonesia; students have been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges stemming from an arrest for selling his books. In Child of All Nations, the reader is immediately swept up by a story that is profoundly feminist, devastatingly anticolonialist – and full of heartbreak, suspense, love, and fury. Pramoedya immerses the reader in a world that is astonishing in its vividness: the cultural whirlpool that was the Dutch East Indies of the 1890s. A story of awakening, it follows Minke, the main character of This Earth of Mankind, as he struggles to overcome the injustice all around him. Pramoedya’s full literary genius is evident in the brilliant characters that populate this world: Minke’s fragile Mixed-Race wife; a young Chinese revolutionary; an embattled Javanese peasant and his impoverished family; the French painter Jean Marais, to name just a few. Child of all Nations is the second in the series of four novels often called the Buru tetralogy. Many of the characters from This Earth of Mankind (the first volume) return to stunning effect in Child of All Nations. But this is a novel that can also be read entirely on its own.The Buru tetralogy was composed orally on Buru Island during the first half of the author’s fourteen-year imprisonment without trial. Writing or reading anything but religious texts was strictly forbidden. Pramoedya would tell each installment to the people with whom he shared.

About the Author

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, born on the island of Java in 1925, was imprisoned first by the Dutch, then by the Indonesian government as a political prisoner. He received the PEN Freedom to Write Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Footsteps

$26.40

As the world moves into the twentieth century, Minke, one of the few European-educated Javanese, optimistically starts a new life in a new town: Betawi. With his enrollment in medical school and the opportunity to meet new people, there is every reason to believe that he can leave behind the tragedies of the past. But Minke can no more escape his past than he can escape his situation as part of an oppressed people under a foreign power. As his world begins to fall apart, Minke draws a small but fervent group around him to fight back against colonial exploitation. During the struggle, Minke finds love, friendship, and betrayal – with tragic consequences. And he goes from wanting to understand his world to wanting to change it. Pramoedya’s full literary genius is again evident in the remarkable characters that populate the novel – and in his depiction of a people’s painful emergence from colonial domination and the shackles of tradition. It is no wonder that Carolyn See, writing in The Washington Post Book World, commented, “Pramoedya Ananta Toer should get the Nobel Prize, but failing that, where are the miniseries people? This story is spellbinding”. The Buru tetralogy was composed orally on Buru Island during the first half of the author’s fourteen-year imprisonment without trial. Writing or reading anything but religious texts was strictly forbidden. Pramoedya would tell each installment to the people with whom he shared his hut; they in turn would tell others until the thousands of political prisoners held on Buru knew the story. In the latter half of his imprisonment, Pramoedya was allowed to write the novels he had composed orally.

About the Author

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, born on the island of Java in 1925, was imprisoned first by the Dutch, then by the Indonesian government as a political prisoner. He received the PEN Freedom to Write Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

This Earth of Mankind

$24.90

This Earth of Mankind, the first novel in Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s series known as the Buru Quartet, tells of the adventures of Minke, a young Javanese student living equally amongst the Dutch colonists and the colonized Javanese of late nineteenth-century. It is through a beautiful woman named Annelies and her family that Minke finds the strength to embrace the world of Indonesia, a world brimming with beauty and possibility as well as brutality and anger.

About the Author

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, born on the island of Java in 1925, was imprisoned first by the Dutch, then by the Indonesian government as a political prisoner. He received the PEN Freedom to Write Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.