The English language debut of Indonesia's rising star. Compulsively listenable, Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humour, and romance in an astonishing epic title, in which the beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by every monstrosity.
Kurniawan's gleefully grotesque hyperbole is a scathing critique of his young nation's troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders, followed by three decades of Suharto's despotic rule.
Drawing on local sources - folktales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit - and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Beauty Is a Wound is passionate and ironic, exuberant and confronting. Hailed as ;the next Pramoedya', Eka Kurniawan is an exciting new voice in contemporary literature.
"Without a doubt the most original, imaginatively profound, and elegant writer of fiction in Indonesia today: its brightest and most unexpected meteorite." (New Left Review)
"A vivacious translation of a comic but emotionally powerful Indonesian novel." (Pen America)
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