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  • Title : Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan

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Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan Description

The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead Kurniawan s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his you The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead Kurniawan s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as 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 of perhaps a million Communists, followed by three decades of Suharto s despotic rule Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Drawing on local sources folk tales and the all night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan s distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature Get A CopyKindle Store INOnline StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Paperback, 470 pages Published September 2015 by New Directions first published December 12th 2002 More Details Original Title Cantik itu Luka ISBN 0811223639 ISBN13 9780811223638 Edition Language English URL Characters alamanda setting Indonesia Literary Awards Kusala Sastra Khatulistiwa Nominee for longlist 2003 , BTBA Best Translated Book Award Nominee for Fiction Longlist 2016 Other Editions 33 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Beauty Is a Wound, please sign up Popular Answered Questions mau mulai baca semua halaman nya gimana like 2 years ago Add your answer Audy D ini cuma tmpt ulasan aj sist D flag See all 5 questions about Beauty Is a Wound Lists with This Book New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015 100 books 163 voters Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist 2016 25 books 16 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Feb 07, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing Shelves asia One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Eka Kurniawan, Beauty is a WoundThis book has one of the best, most memorable opening sentences I ve ever read And it definitely set the stage for one of the most compelling and engrossing stories I ve read in a long time Over 500 pages of prose and I enjoyed every page Even without having any knowledge of the history of Indonesia, I loved it.Indonesia seems to have had a turbulent hist One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Eka Kurniawan, Beauty is a WoundThis book has one of the best, most memorable opening sentences I ve ever read And it definitely set the stage for one of the most compelling and engrossing stories I ve read in a long time Over 500 pages of prose and I enjoyed every page Even without having any knowledge of the history of Indonesia, I loved it.Indonesia seems to have had a turbulent history of colonization, first by the Dutch, then the Japanese I find the same theme in a lot of novels that focus on colonized subjects who become involved in proxy wars confusion over what exactly is happening Look, she said to another woman next to her, they must be confused by two foreign nations making war on their land I m always a fan of anyone who writes compelling, multi dimensional women This book traces the history of Indonesian Dutch prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters and their characters are written so well It s a complicated family history, complicated even further by wars, colonialism, communism, independence struggles, and love In addition, fairy tales and legends are mixed in to this funny yet tragic story I like stories that focus on small communities like this Imagine being part of a community that you were born and raised in, one where everyone knows you and makes room for you because they know they have no choice but to put up with you since migration isn t a common practice Something Elizabeth Alexander wrote in her The Light of the World has always stuck with me, something regarding African societies told to her by her late husband about how the village always makes room for everyone, including the mentally ill, and I saw that in this book people adapting to each other.Kurniawan is a great writer, really exceptional I enjoyed the way he presented Indonesia s history in a fictionalized account, making it accessible, as well as interesting and educational. I had no idea, for example, that Indonesia had a history with communism Comrade Salim admitted that he was not a good Marxist, that he didn t understand all that class theory yet, but he was fairly certain that injustice had to be fought in any way possible There are no Marxists in this country, he said, but there are plenty of starving masses, who work than what they get for it in return, who have to bend their knees every time a big man appears, who know nothing expect that the only way to be free from all of that is to rebel I already touched upon the compelling female characters in this book Cynthia Enloe wrote a bit about brothels in Asia during World War 2 and the Vietnam war and it was something I d never really thought about before but it was interesting to see that although war is often in the masculine domain , there is a lot about the involvement of women that isn t considered or that is glossed over We know women and children are always the biggest victims in war and this book at least lends some warmth and a richer narrative to the stories that aren t often mentioned, those that are seen as peripheral to the war This line, The colonel came to believe that the brothel built up his men s morale and was good for their fighting spirit , reminds us of how women are used in times of war Indonesia as a locale for this story was interesting the dichotomies of native Indonesian vs Dutch, interspersed with some magical realism, myths, humour and wit, bawdiness, as well as great insights, made the story really come alive Also, to me the history seemed to be very much like that of many countries where the needs of the people are quite basic, yet are still out of reach due to bad governance Long ago he had heard an imam in the mosque talk about heaven, about rivers of milk that flowed at your feet, about beautiful ever available virgins, nymphs, about everything being there for the taking and nothing forbidden All of that seemed so beautiful, really too beautiful to be believed He didn t need anything as grandiose as all that it would be enough for him if everyone got the same amount of rice Or maybe that wish was really the most grandiose wish of all Prepare to be shocked, outraged, and delighted flag 127 likesLike see review View all 29 comments May 18, 2016 Perry rated it it was amazing Fascinating Allegorical Tale of Indonesia f k a Dutch East Indies If you like tales of political social allegory, such as Animal Farm and One Hundred Years of Solitude, that exercise your brain, without overly challenging to the point of losing intrigue, the kind of story in which you delight in discovering or trying to the metaphorical meaning of actions, characters and things within, then I recommend you put this on your list of books to check out.This brilliant novel reflects and criticize Fascinating Allegorical Tale of Indonesia f k a Dutch East Indies If you like tales of political social allegory, such as Animal Farm and One Hundred Years of Solitude, that exercise your brain, without overly challenging to the point of losing intrigue, the kind of story in which you delight in discovering or trying to the metaphorical meaning of actions, characters and things within, then I recommend you put this on your list of books to check out.This brilliant novel reflects and criticizes the turbulent history of the world s 4th most populous country Indonesia, a country of than 14,000 islands and of terrible tsunamis Indonesia s native citizens suffered under three and a half centuries of Dutch rule, Japanese occupation for 3 years during WWII, the mass slaughter of possibly a million citizens after the failed Communist coup in 1965, followed by the despotic rule of Suharto for 3 decades Indonesia Tsunami 1965 Communists Being Led En Masse to Slaughter after Failed Revolution CoupKurniawan tells the tempestuous history by means of an epic allegory which is, by turns, ridiculous, magical, hilarious and always captivating The centerpiece is Dewi Ayu, the stunningly beautiful 3 4 Dutch and 1 4 Malaysian girl forced into prostitution in her late teens upon Japanese occupation, her four daughters each with different fathers , their lovers and husbands, Dewi Ayu s 3 grandchildren, and the village of Halimundo, which is reminiscent of the village of Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude Kurniawan also weaves in colorful, intriguing local folklore to make his points Suharto Despot who Ruled for 30 YearsWhile the novel contains some scenes of the grotesque and of rapes, they did not seem gratuitous or unnecessary to reflect the tragedies befallen Indonesia and its residents It is haunting and has solidly stayed with me nearly 5 months after reading it You can accuse me of being off my rocker but, I think this book is destined, 50 years from now, to be deemed a classic Really Attempt at Representation of Protagonist Gorgeous 3 4 Dutch, 1 4 Malaysian Dewi Ayu flag 50 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Jan 16, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing Shelves historical fiction, indonesia, japanese invasion, dutch colonialism Eka Kurniawan, said to be following in the giant steps of Indonesia s most famous author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer known for his anti colonial and social realism tetralogy, Buru Quartet , is a popular literary young blood who could be as heavily influenced by a host of literary icons His novel Beauty is a Wound is a 20th century Indonesian historiography told in the rich folklore of her culture in gothicism that awakens memories of Lafcadio Hearn s chilling Kwaidan Stories and Studies of Strang Eka Kurniawan, said to be following in the giant steps of Indonesia s most famous author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer known for his anti colonial and social realism tetralogy, Buru Quartet , is a popular literary young blood who could be as heavily influenced by a host of literary icons His novel Beauty is a Wound is a 20th century Indonesian historiography told in the rich folklore of her culture in gothicism that awakens memories of Lafcadio Hearn s chilling Kwaidan Stories and Studies of Strange Things in magic realism reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez s epic tale of Latin America, One Hundred Years of Solitude or Salman Rushdie s mesmerizing novel of India, Midnight s Children and in the taut rendering of wartime atrocities, it is explicitly a depiction of abuse and violence against women as similarly narrated in Mo Yan s hallucinatory novel of China s history, Big Breasts and Wide Hips.Far off at the edge of the South Seas, lies the port city Halimunda the Land of Fog, so named by the beautiful, mythical princess Rengannis who pledged to marry the first person she saw at her window But there was no one as far as the eye could see, no one except a dog who was looking back over his shoulder in her direction after hearing the sound of the window creaking open The princess was stunned for a moment but, remember, she never went back on her word, so from the bottom of her heart she promised she would marry that dog.The novel represents Beauty in both binary and opposing stories of Halimunda a hypnotic land possessively controlled for 3 centuries by the Dutch savagely violated by the hands of the Rising Sun betrayed and abandoned by her two faced friendly rescuers , and left exposed like a carcass to be devoured by homegrown wild dogs known as aka and the multi generational saga of Dewi Ayu an exotic beauty of Dutch and Indo mixture, abducted and forced into the role of comfort woman for the Japanese, eventually becoming the most intoxicating prostitute in the village The demon seed took root four times in Dewi Ayu s womb, the result was four beautiful daughters I should open my own whorehouse.There s no curse terrible than to give birth to a pretty female in a world of men as nasty as dogs in heat.Through the daughters lovers evolve Halimunda s post WWII violent political and social struggles In Beauty s presence, they are irresistibly drawn in, but, like the creature in a Venus fly trap, to touch the treasure could be fatal, may be scarring and mutilating, excruciatingly painful, unendurable or gruesomely deadly In Halimunda thought to be Jakarta , Kurniawan explores and resurrects his nation s bloodstained past her struggle for self identity in the aftermath of WWII and survival in the wake of Suharto s brutal genocidal massacre of thousands of Communists blending with it Indonesian beliefs in the potent dead who, thought powerful enough to influence the living, return as ghosts from the otherworld, for the wretched don t die easy and ghosts have unfinished business and so the commanding ghost of Dewi Ayu, rises from her grave 21 years after she died to contrast, it would appear, a mysterious and vengeful evil spirit unknown until the last chapters dead set to unleash its seething wrath upon her family War, it seems, plays out on many realms in Halimunda.Kurniawan delivers a compelling tale ripe with Southeast Asian folklore, supernatural horror and the explicit violent history of a region beaten down by the heinousness of war and a corrupt, murder driven regime, urging the reader who might otherwise equate Indonesia with devastating earthquakes or the explosive volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 to be informed of her political past Kurniawan is already setting a blazing path and a brilliant future as a notable writer of Indonesian fiction, and has completely slain me with this novel of Beauty flag 50 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Jul 26, 2015 Marianne rated it really liked it review of another edition It s true that oppressed people only have one tool of resistance run amok And if I have to tell you, revolution is nothing than a collective running amok, organized by one particular party Beauty is a Wound is one of only two so far works by Indonesian journalist, writer and designer, Eka Kurniawan that have been translated into English Twelve days after she gave birth to her fourth daughter ironically named Beauty , Dewi Ayu, even at fifty two still the most beautiful and desired pr It s true that oppressed people only have one tool of resistance run amok And if I have to tell you, revolution is nothing than a collective running amok, organized by one particular party Beauty is a Wound is one of only two so far works by Indonesian journalist, writer and designer, Eka Kurniawan that have been translated into English Twelve days after she gave birth to her fourth daughter ironically named Beauty , Dewi Ayu, even at fifty two still the most beautiful and desired prostitute in the Javan city of Halimunda, wrapped herself in a burial shroud and died Twenty one years later, she rose from grave, to the shock of the neighbourhood Her reasons for doing so were not immediately apparent.Kurniawan s epic tale extends over almost a century and, against the backdrop of Dutch Colonial days and the Japanese wartime occupation through the struggles for independence to the modern day, tells the story of an extended Indonesian family births, marriages, deaths and everything in between There is plenty of humour and some sweet romance, but this family like many in Indonesia also suffers its share of tragedies, or perhaps even so There is quite a lot of violence, again an accurate reflection of life in those times in that country rapes, massacres, murders and beatings are described in a very matter of fact style Kurniawan s tale demonstrates how corruption, propaganda, the power of petty despots, the impotence of the Police force and control of the media are all accepted aspects of everyday life in Indonesia The attitude of those petty despots is summarised thus Comrade Kliwon is quite sympathetic and works hard to remedy the misfortunes of others.sometimes I think he s the only person in this city who looks toward the future with hope That s what communists are like Pathetic people who don t realise this world is destined to be the most rotten place imaginable That s the only reason God promised heaven, as a comfort to the wretched masses This is a rambling story that is certainly reminiscent of Garcia Marquez and Rushdie, although, while Rushdie tends to never use two words when three or five will do, Kurniawan is much succinct Some elements of the supernatural feature mainly ghosts and channelling of the dead, and of course, folklore and superstition are commonplace The prose is quite basic, the dialogue often rather earthy it is easy to read a background knowledge of Indonesian history and politics is helpful, but not essential Translation of this impressive work from the Indonesian has been achieved by Annie Tucker An original and thought provoking read 4.5 s flag 27 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Mar 30, 2017 Morana Mazor rated it did not like it review of another edition Rijetko se meni dogodi da odustanem od knjige i ne pro itam je do kraja jer si ve nekako znam procijeniti to bi mi se svidjelo, a to ne bi Ali, u ovom sam se slu aju grdno prevarila doga a se i najboljima. Isto tako, elja da pi em osvrt i da svima pri am o nekoj knjizi naj e e me uhvati kada me neka knjiga odu evi. Ove druge eventualno spomenem, u nekoj raspravi ili, ako me netko ba upita za mi ljenje o odre enoj knjizi koja meni, eto, nije sjela Ali, ovaj put u vam ba na Rijetko se meni dogodi da odustanem od knjige i ne pro itam je do kraja jer si ve nekako znam procijeniti to bi mi se svidjelo, a to ne bi Ali, u ovom sam se slu aju grdno prevarila doga a se i najboljima. Isto tako, elja da pi em osvrt i da svima pri am o nekoj knjizi naj e e me uhvati kada me neka knjiga odu evi. Ove druge eventualno spomenem, u nekoj raspravi ili, ako me netko ba upita za mi ljenje o odre enoj knjizi koja meni, eto, nije sjela Ali, ovaj put u vam ba napisati hmmmne osvrt jer nije ok pisati osvrt na knjigu od koje si pro itao 40 50str nego, recimo, svoje iskustvo A mislim da to mogu, jer, nakon svog dugogodi njeg itala kog sta a, imam pravo nakon nekoliko stranica zaklju iti da li mi se knjiga svi a ili ne. Jer, bez obzira na sadr aj koji e kasnije mo da postati super zanimljiv , stil pisanja ostaje isti..to se vrlo brzo uo i.Dakle, rije je o knjizi Ljepota je njezina rana , indonezijskog pisca Eka Kurniawana Knjiga je do ivjela jako velik, svjetski uspjeh, osvojila niz nagrada, a NY TImes i The Guardian su je ak uvrstili me u najzna ajnije knjige godine I ja ne ka em da to nije zaslu eno, samo, eto, po meni to ba i ne bi bilo tako. Ali, tko sam ja Ja sam iznosim svoje skromno mi ljenjePo onome to sam pro itala o knjizi kao i po sadr aju knjiga mi je djelovala ba super i tako je ja krenuh itatiE, a onda Kuku lele. ak i to to po inje time da se ena, nakon 20 god smrti ustaje iz groba i vra a svojoj ku i i nastavlja normalno dalje ivjeti, samo, jel , 20god starija me nije toliko zasmetalo, rekoh, ok. Tako i tako u blurbu tekstovi na koricama pi e da je ovo fantazmagori na epska pripovijest Onda detalj kako ovjek na umoru dolazi kod prostitutke jer eli izdahnuti u njezinom, recimo, naru ju. , a nema love pa joj za to daje svoju nijemu k erkicu koja ak prostitutki napi e dajte spavajte s njim mo e brzo izdahnuti sam, ono, pro itala i rekla, ajde dobro. Ludo, ali ok No, da vam sad ne pi em jo neke takve detalje, samo u re i da sam odustala kada sam do la do dijela gdje ovjek, koji je ludo zaljubljen u enu koju su udali za drugoga bogatog kolonizatora ovo je u stvari kritika tada njeg indonezijskog dru tva poludi, ali onako fino poludi Izme u ostalog tako je lud da po inje op iti sa ivotinjama. I kada sam pro itala da je njegova majka morala ujutro zadaviti pet jadnih koko ki koje su se tresle, a iz mara su im izlazila crijeva od silne strasti ludog sina , e tu vi e nisam mogla. Ja sam em vizualni tip, em sam jaaako, jaaako, slaba na ivotinje. Tu smo se ova knjiga i ja rastale..Znam to je nadrealizam i koliko je cijenjen kao pravac. Isto tako znam da su, neke od karakteristika nadrealizma odstupanje od estetike i te nja tome da djela budu provokativno neugodna, pa eto, ja bih ovo djelo svrstala upravo u takvu skupinu Ja vjerujem da je autor Kurniawan na ovaj na in uspio re i sve to je mislio, iskritizirati sve one povijesne doga aje u Indoneziji koje je elio i da je upravo zato knjiga do ivjela ovakav uspjeh, ali, ja svako toliko pogledam njegovu sliku na kraju knjige i samo mi do e elja ne ba da mu estitam nego da ga pitam, E, moj, Eka, na emu si ti Uglavnom, ako ste ljubitelji epske fantastike u nadrealisti nom stilu go for it Pun pogodak Meni ova knjiga ide na listu nije to za mene flag 24 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Aug 15, 2017 Kevin Ansbro rated it it was amazing Shelves magical realism, spiteful humour, human imagery, escapism, funny as f, immorality One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Now that s the kind of beginning that will grab my attention If you like the magical realism of M rquez as I do , then this could be your cup of Colombian coffee although it s set in Indonesia the Colombian coffee bit was my play on words cup of tea, M rquez being from Colombia oh, forget it.Dewi Ayu, village prostitute and misanthrope gives birth to a hideous little baby an One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Now that s the kind of beginning that will grab my attention If you like the magical realism of M rquez as I do , then this could be your cup of Colombian coffee although it s set in Indonesia the Colombian coffee bit was my play on words cup of tea, M rquez being from Colombia oh, forget it.Dewi Ayu, village prostitute and misanthrope gives birth to a hideous little baby and dies twelve days later, without setting eyes on her unfortunate progeny.There ensues a magical, folkloric riotous story that would be beyond the imagination of most writers Hilarious, cruel, bawdy and otherworldly.I loved it Many will not flag 21 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 16, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it This falls somewhere between a 2.5 and a 3.5 When I first started it I thought I was going to love it It had many shades of One Hundred Years of Solitude There were many things I did really like The historical backdrop of Indonesia was fascinating and I ended up googling lots of things to learn about the history A lot of this book is political satire which never really works for me I found some of the characters to be fascinating and I loved their stories but in the end there was far This falls somewhere between a 2.5 and a 3.5 When I first started it I thought I was going to love it It had many shades of One Hundred Years of Solitude There were many things I did really like The historical backdrop of Indonesia was fascinating and I ended up googling lots of things to learn about the history A lot of this book is political satire which never really works for me I found some of the characters to be fascinating and I loved their stories but in the end there was far to much blah blah blah rape blah blah blah whore blah blah blah rape all the women etc Oh and then there was the part where they killed all the dogs yes I get the symbolism but no don t kill the dogs There were several places along the way where I considered a DNF Despite my somewhat negative comments I am actually glad that I read this book and that I finished it It s not a bad thing to a read a book that pushes you beyond your comfort zone flag 20 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 21, 2016 Missy J rated it really liked it Shelves 2016 books, indonesia related, southeast asia, historical fiction Beauty is a Wound is the debut novel of Eka Kurniawan, which was originally published in 2002 This is the second time for me to read a work by Kurniawan earlier this year I read Lelaki Harimau also known as Man Tiger and it is one of my favorite books Compared to Man Tiger, Beauty is a Wound is a grand and quite over ambitious satire With the historic backdrop stretching across the end of Dutch colonialism of the Indies to the end of the 20th century, Kurniawan tells the story of an Ind Beauty is a Wound is the debut novel of Eka Kurniawan, which was originally published in 2002 This is the second time for me to read a work by Kurniawan earlier this year I read Lelaki Harimau also known as Man Tiger and it is one of my favorite books Compared to Man Tiger, Beauty is a Wound is a grand and quite over ambitious satire With the historic backdrop stretching across the end of Dutch colonialism of the Indies to the end of the 20th century, Kurniawan tells the story of an Indo mixed Dutch Javanese woman called Dewi Ayu and her three daughters The family is cursed and is struck by one catastrophe after another.First of all, I think it s important to clarify that this is of a horror novel rather than magical realism The first sentence of the book goes like this One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years But pay attention to what happens next People are terrified and run away from Dewi Ayu If this were magical realism, people would glance at Dewi Ayu and then continue doing whatever they were doing But no People are running away because it s a nightmare The reader is about to come across a lot of rape, incest, bestiality, murder, male chauvinism and even rape This book is not for the faint of heart.I think it s justified that Kurniawan present Indonesia s history in a horrific manner Indonesian history is permeated with sexual violence It happened during 300 years of Dutch colonization, what the Japanese army did to the comfort women throughout Asia and which most Japanese still won t recognize , the killings and rapes of 1965 which the Indonesian government still won t claim responsibility for , the horrific invasion and rape of East Timor by the Indonesian army, the violence and rapes against ethnic Chinese in 1998 Kurniawan really succeeds in weaving Indonesia s turbulent history into this novel I loved his description of communist ghosts haunting the murderers Unfortunately, the chronology of the characters stories and development is somewhat sloppy Better editing could ve improved the narration But I can forgive the author because he was only 25 27 years old and his second novel Man Tiger has shown that his writing improved.Finally, I appreciate the psychology behind this novel The reader is outraged, angry and frustrated with the many rapes and how women are merely treated as sex objects But that s what we should feel When we are enraged by these actions, it proves that we are still human and sane Most of these horrific crimes were never recognized and will probably go unpunished The eerie thing is that many Indonesians stay mum about this part of history Most people want to move on, because it s too painful to talk about the past and most victims are ashamed I don t know what term psychologists use, but it s important to talk about this so that the oppressors won t oppress again So I thank Kurniawan for writing this novel Beauty is indeed a wound flag 19 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Sep 26, 2015 jeremy rated it it was amazing Shelves translation, fiction a beautiful, stirring, and powerful epic of indonesian politics and family, eka kurniawan s beauty is a wound cantik itu luka must surely be considered as one of the year s finest works of translated fiction sweeping across decades and generations, beauty is a wound is a violent, enchanted saga, compelling on account of both its impressive breadth and storytelling verve kurniawan, an indonesian journalist and author, published this remarkable novel when he was 27 years old released in engli a beautiful, stirring, and powerful epic of indonesian politics and family, eka kurniawan s beauty is a wound cantik itu luka must surely be considered as one of the year s finest works of translated fiction sweeping across decades and generations, beauty is a wound is a violent, enchanted saga, compelling on account of both its impressive breadth and storytelling verve kurniawan, an indonesian journalist and author, published this remarkable novel when he was 27 years old released in english concurrently with his 2004 novel, man tiger.threaded throughout with traces of magical realism, beauty is a wound is a lively, vigorous work with a large, yet unforgettable cast of well drawn characters rape, incest, slaughter, massacre, brutality, war, and revenge loom heavily in the story though never excessively so , but kurniawan tempers these darker elements with humor, rich history, and fantastical occurrences exploring themes of fate, customs, heroism, loyalty, folklore, communism, cultural national legacy, and a host of interpersonal relationships intimate, familial, and professional, beauty is a wound is a self contained world established, perhaps, to make sense of the larger one it inhabits or has descended from.spanning the better part of a century in indonesian history, kurniawan s encompassing tale never dulls or languishes under its own ambitious weight beauty is a wound, despite its copious violence, is somehow reminiscent of jorge amado s exceptional 1958 novel, gabriela, clove and cinnamon, replete as it is with multiple voices, brilliant intensity, and depth of imagination beauty is a wound is a vibrant tapestry of village life, colonial rule, political independence, and generational drama kurniawan s first novel translated into english shimmers with the luster of literary accomplishment, offering a gorgeous, at times harrowing glimpse into a country with a long, tumultuous past do you believe in god asked kliwon tentatively that s irrelevant, salim replied it s not man s job to think about whether god exists or not, especially when you know that right in front of your eyes one person is stepping on another s neck so you are going to hell i d rather go to hell, because i have spent my whole life trying to eliminate any man s superiority over other men he continued, if i might share my opinion, this world is hell, and our task is to create our own heaven translated from the indonesian by annie tucker recipient of a 2013 pen heim translation grant for her english translation of beauty is a wound flag 19 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 18, 2016 Viv JM marked it as dnf review of another edition DNF 40%This is a very rapey book and I really don t want to continue any further, specifically after a scene where a woman, after being gang raped on multiple occasions, is then consumed by lust for her rescuer No Just no I get that this book is satirical and allegorical and symbolic, but still The author doesn t graphically describe the rape scenes but there are just so many and I am really not convinced that they are necessary to the plot It s a shame, because I really liked the begin DNF 40%This is a very rapey book and I really don t want to continue any further, specifically after a scene where a woman, after being gang raped on multiple occasions, is then consumed by lust for her rescuer No Just no I get that this book is satirical and allegorical and symbolic, but still The author doesn t graphically describe the rape scenes but there are just so many and I am really not convinced that they are necessary to the plot It s a shame, because I really liked the beginning of this book it has one of the best opening lines I have ever read and I enjoyed some of the folkloric quality to the writing, but this kind of rape fantasy myth is just too far out of my comfort zone flag 18 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Feb 04, 2016 Monica rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves worldwide, kindle_fiction, fantasy, betterthanexpected, 5 star, diversity authors, audio, favorites, diversity male, meta ethics philosophy spiritual This was an unexpectedly good book Interesting, riveting, surprising, and by the end, all consuming I listened to this on audible because at this time of the year, reading time is a premium Simply put, I loved it and Jonathan Davis did a very fine job at narration Not sure what I was anticipating, but this book took hold of me and would not let go I would go so far as to call it epic Part folklore, part Indonesian history, part magical realism, part allegory, part fictional memoir, it wa This was an unexpectedly good book Interesting, riveting, surprising, and by the end, all consuming I listened to this on audible because at this time of the year, reading time is a premium Simply put, I loved it and Jonathan Davis did a very fine job at narration Not sure what I was anticipating, but this book took hold of me and would not let go I would go so far as to call it epic Part folklore, part Indonesian history, part magical realism, part allegory, part fictional memoir, it was just captivating The imaginary town of Halimunda and the lead character Dewi Ayu endure the Dutch and Japanese occupation and eventually the country s own dictatorship where they mow down the Communists The foundations of the story are rooted in historical fact Many of the milestones in the novel, really did occur in history The magical realism comes in the form of spirits and ghosts and small bits of magic that pepper the book This story is in effect a family saga as they endure all of these historical changes.The book is oddly whimsical I say that because is is full of suffering and misfortune and yet many of the characters are quirky and strange and somehow are able to remain somewhat amiable through everything These people are callous and reckless and have very little regard for other people but they aren t malevolent They are not acting the way that they do out of hate, anger or bitterness, it s just the way things are and have always been The prose is austere, yet so good and descriptive You feel like you know the characters and care about what happens by the end of the book None of the characters are especially good people, nor are they all bad though Shodancho is pretty close to all bad All of the male characters are man childs Among the many male characters in the book, the leads include a commanding officer in the army, a common thug, and a Communist All are infantile in different ways in their behavior and need to fight, have sex, be in charge, be the alpha male and all of them in fact all of the male characters in this book have conflated visions of love which they confuse with lust, obsession and enslavement The sole purpose of a wife is to fulfill sexual lust and propagate the species If she is coveted by others, then these men are hopelessly in love their definition not mine If she keeps a good homebonus The female character s understanding of love is every bit as superficial where the only real proclamations of love are for the handsomest man in the village Otherwise, they are dutiful and devoid of passion The female characters are all long suffering, beautiful, objects to be possessed This is the best they can hope for in life and they are pragmatic The lead character is forced into prostitution during the Japanese occupation eventually transforms her assets her breathtaking beauty into a commodity desired by all She is the most desirable prostitute and eschews marriage because in her words she d rather be paid for sex than to give it for free to one man To her sex is a means to an end She manages to find some measure of success and comfort without the confines of marriage For her daughters though, she wants them to have a normal by Indonesian standards life The story chronicles their struggles, needless to say nothing is normal about their lives The entire story is a satire Kurniawan is exposing some well rooted mindsets that seem to have driven the country in ways that defy logic He seems to be saying, this is why the country is the way that it is This is how we got here Not for the faint of heart This story contains a lot of rape, violence, incest and subjugation of people in general and women in particular In this world Beauty is a commodity coveted above all things You ll have to read the book in order to understand the title For me, a fascinating take on a culture I knew nothing about I want to read by this author 4.75 Stars flag 18 likesLike see review View all 13 comments May 05, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it liked it Indonesian History as Fact and Fable One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Not your usual opening for a novel, is it Dewi Ayu, formerly the most sought after prostitute in the district of Halimunda, walks back to her house, takes a bath, and is reunited with her daughter Beauty, who she had prayed would be born ugly as indeed she most certainly was After a few dozen pages, the action slips back in time to Dewi Ayu s childhood, Indonesian History as Fact and Fable One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Not your usual opening for a novel, is it Dewi Ayu, formerly the most sought after prostitute in the district of Halimunda, walks back to her house, takes a bath, and is reunited with her daughter Beauty, who she had prayed would be born ugly as indeed she most certainly was After a few dozen pages, the action slips back in time to Dewi Ayu s childhood, her experience of being forced into a brothel by the invading Japanese, her postwar success in the business on her own, the various suitors for her hand, and so on, covering most of Indonesian history from 1940 to the present.Eka Kurniawan is a good storyteller, and most of the episodes are interesting in their own ways Apart from Dewi Ayu herself, we meet a variety of characters who are each a little larger than life, such as the strongest man in the community, or the young former guerrilla leader who wants only to retire to a cave and meditate We learn folk tales such as that of the beautiful Princess Rengganis who, tired of all the men seeking her in marriage, decided one day to throw open her shutters and wed the first person that she sees Some of the stories, such as the girls suffering in the Japanese prison camp, are truly horrible But the vaguely comic tone of the whole, whether influenced by the folklore tradition or magical realism, makes it difficult to take it all seriously, or even to sustain much interest after a certain point.A pity, because I genuinely wanted to know about Indonesia, and also enjoyed the fabulous tone of many of the chapters But for me, those two elements worked against one another instead of combining flag 17 likesLike see review View all 9 comments Jun 13, 2017 B n Ph a Nh Z rated it really liked it d i kinh s ki u s thi bao tr m l ch s Indo qua l ch s gia nh m h ng n quy n r n r n xong l i c n ma m huy n o c nh tr m n m c n nh ng m c i ki u k t ng t c c nhi u khi ch n.n i chung l kh ng khi p, to n hi p l hi p flag 18 likesLike see review View all 12 comments Sep 26, 2015 Cher rated it did not like it Shelves abandoned dnf, cultural 1.5 stars I didn t like it.After an incredible opening paragraph, this one has begun to just disappoint and bore DNF ing around 75 pages 15% in I have had my fill of rape, incest and bestiality and am choosing to move on to another book on my never ending TBR list This one s just not for me First Sentence One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years flag 16 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Aug 10, 2017 Emmy H Nathasia rated it it was amazing I have NO choice but to give it a 5 There is probably less than 3% of pages where I rush through my reading, but 97% of the plot and its characters intrigues me The plot is ridiculous to the point that I have to close my book many, many times for me to take a breather, to take it all in before continuing with my reading You really need to understand the mysticism of the culture and to be open to all possibilities before you read this Otherwise you might not be able to accept what the writer I have NO choice but to give it a 5 There is probably less than 3% of pages where I rush through my reading, but 97% of the plot and its characters intrigues me The plot is ridiculous to the point that I have to close my book many, many times for me to take a breather, to take it all in before continuing with my reading You really need to understand the mysticism of the culture and to be open to all possibilities before you read this Otherwise you might not be able to accept what the writer tried to bring Also, it helps that the many characters introduced in the book, their stories are divided by chapters, otherwise you might lose sight of who that person is, its connection etc But oh my gosh, what a ludicrously beautiful book flag 14 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jul 10, 2016 Alice Lippart rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves read in 2016, translated An excellent and original tale Lots of history, a bit of magical realism and fascinating characters flag 14 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 12, 2015 Brianna rated it liked it There is so much rape in this book I m not necessarily averse to that but I have questions about how and why sexual violence functions as both plot point and constantly revisited method of characterization, as nearly all of the women in this novel both primary and secondary are defined and characterized by their brutal and repetitive violations The novel was often beautiful and really well written I can understand why it has drawn so many glowing comparisons to One Hundred Years of Solitud There is so much rape in this book I m not necessarily averse to that but I have questions about how and why sexual violence functions as both plot point and constantly revisited method of characterization, as nearly all of the women in this novel both primary and secondary are defined and characterized by their brutal and repetitive violations The novel was often beautiful and really well written I can understand why it has drawn so many glowing comparisons to One Hundred Years of Solitude, but unlike Marquez book I think Beauty topples under the weight of its own ambition and its many narrative threads I did not buy the ending nor the message the author seemed to underline as the moral heart of the story It rang false to me, and, considering the amount of sexual violence and the emphasis on a certain type of femininity, left me somewhat disturbed I can t really discuss it without spoiling the whole plot but this is a book that I feel like I would need to revisit or discuss with someone else in order to parse out my complicated feelings Probably one of the books I feel most conflicted about that I ve read all year flag 12 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Jun 16, 2015 Joachim Stoop rated it it was amazing In 100 years this book will still be considered an important piece in our literary history This is epic, compelling, hard, beautiful It deserves the same recognition as A Hundred years of solitude by GG Marquez Voltaire s Zadig Top flag 12 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jan 01, 2017 Judy rated it really liked it Shelves 21st century fiction, literature in translation, historical fiction I first learned of this novel from the BTBA Best Translated Book Award Fiction long list for 2016 I bought it because it is a fictional account of Indonesian history and because I liked the title It was the last book I read in 2016 Filled with wild and crazy characters, featuring colonial oppression and the rape of natural resources and as well as a mixed race descendant of a Dutch East India Company trader, it covers war, communism, slaughter, rape, unstable politics, indigenous customs, I first learned of this novel from the BTBA Best Translated Book Award Fiction long list for 2016 I bought it because it is a fictional account of Indonesian history and because I liked the title It was the last book I read in 2016 Filled with wild and crazy characters, featuring colonial oppression and the rape of natural resources and as well as a mixed race descendant of a Dutch East India Company trader, it covers war, communism, slaughter, rape, unstable politics, indigenous customs, and ghosts The result is a rich tapestry.Not that we don t have rape issues in the United States and not that rape is ever OK but boy, it was as common as dirt in the tumultuous archipelago now known as Indonesia The central character is a woman, Dewi Ayu, the mixed race descendant mentioned above She is possessed of great beauty, four daughters who are each from different fathers, and demonic powers She is the most renowned prostitute in Jakarta.When she rises from her grave, where she had been buried 21 years ago, all the tales and many of the ghosts come alive as well The author then takes us back to where it all began for Dewi and brings us forward through 400 years of history.I was drawn in from the beginning and except for a few lulls in the narrative, remained intrigued to the end In college, I studied Margaret Mead s books about her anthropological studies on Bali, one of Indonesia s islands, and became fascinated with the area I have since read Euphoria by Lily King a novel loosely based on Ms Mead and Mead s autobiography Blackberry Winter But these are books written by Americans Beauty Is A Wound is the first novel or book of any kind that I have read written by an Indonesian author There is just no comparison.As a reader you need to hang tough though You will enter a world so foreign to any Western country with customs and beliefs strange to us And yet, because of Western colonization there are elements of Western civilization intermixed If you have read books by African or Asian authors, you will be prepared.There is no denying that Dewi Ayu, her four daughters, and the men in their lives are the brilliant and vibrant center that holds the story together As far as the human story of how we have developed from tiny bands of individuals to globalized interconnected trade and war, it is apparently one I never tire of reading flag 11 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 05, 2015 Alvina rated it liked it review of another edition Sama mbuletnya kayak novel 100 tahun kesunyian Sama suramnya Sama memusingkannya Ini kisah yang rumit Sudah lama saya mendengar nama Eka Kurniawan ketika sedang mengobrol dengan teman teman blogger buku atau sekadar melihat buku barunya di timeline Terlebih setelah bukunya memenangkan anugerah sastra dan banyak review positif mengenainya.Ketika masih dalam tahap mencoba aplikasi IJak, saya langsung meminjam buku ini Penasaran tingkat dewa Kesan saya Ouch, buku ini Sama mbuletnya kayak novel 100 tahun kesunyian Sama suramnya Sama memusingkannya Ini kisah yang rumit Sudah lama saya mendengar nama Eka Kurniawan ketika sedang mengobrol dengan teman teman blogger buku atau sekadar melihat buku barunya di timeline Terlebih setelah bukunya memenangkan anugerah sastra dan banyak review positif mengenainya.Ketika masih dalam tahap mencoba aplikasi IJak, saya langsung meminjam buku ini Penasaran tingkat dewa Kesan saya Ouch, buku ini berat banget kisahnya Saya ceritakan sedikit silsilah mengenai Dewi Ayu dan keluarganya Dua orang tuanya merupakan saudara sebapak yang nekad menikah dan kabur dari rumah Sejak kecil, Dewi ayu tinggal bersama neneknya yang orang Belanda Kedatangan tentara Jepang membuat si Nenek mengajak Dewi Ayu untuk pergi dari rumah, tetapi Dewi Ayu menolak Ia tetap tinggal di rumah tersebut sampai tentara mengirimnya ke sebuah penampungan tempat orang orang non pribumi ditempatkan Dewi Ayu dan beberapa anak gadis ditempatkan dalam sebuah rumah bordil Sementara yang lain ketakutan, Dewi Ayu malah bersikap santai dan tenang Ia kelak menjadi wanita idola di rumah bordil tersebut, pun meski kemudian ia melahirkan sebanyak 3 kali, tetap banyak lelaki yang masih ingin tidur dengannya.Buku ini mengisahkan Dewi Ayu dengan empat anak perempuannya Tiga di antaranya cantik jelita, Alamanda, Adinda dan Maya Dewi Sedangkan anak terakhirnya lahir dengan buruk rupa, ironisnya ia dinamai Si Cantik.Cerita di buku ini unik, meski tak urung membuat saya terbayang bayang novel 100 tahun kesunyian milik Gabriel Marquez saat membacanya Dewi Ayu memang tidak hidup selama 100 tahun sih, tapi ia menyaksikan bagiamana keturunan keturunannya itu saling terpaut seputar cinta dan perihal selangkangan Jelas saya kemudian salut kepada penulis karena bisa meramu plot yang bertindihan dan kompleks dalam buku setebal kurang dari 500 halaman Mungkin jika endingnya tidak disegerakan, buku ini bisa jauh lebih tebal dan ceritanya makin edan Selain plot, saya juga salut sama bahasa yang digunakan Simpel, lugas, apa adanya, tapi juga tak ada kesan jijik Settingnya juga dideskripsikan dengan apik, saya bisa dengan mudah membayangkan seperti apa kamar di rumah bordil, atau bagaimana saat Dewi Ayu menggali harta karun di rumahnya yang lama Adegan adegannya juga diceritakan dengan gamblang, tapi kadang berasa kurang sih perasaannya Saking detailnya malah kadang saya udah ga peduli itu si Kamerad atau Schodanko ngapain aja XD Dan alurnya juga juara, saya bisa mengikuti meski maju mundur terbolak balik diceritain sama si penulis Tapi ceritanya emang berat sih, menurut saya Jadi heran, kenapa sebuah buku yang dianggap bagus biasanya adalah buku yang berat menurut saya ya Apa saya kebanyakan micin abaikan flag 10 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jan 03, 2016 Monique rated it liked it This book was epic It was full of violence, rape, mass murder, incest, bestiality and brutality The narrative spans over many generations of the one family and isn t always linear I loved this about the book the complex family trees, the magic realism, the twists and surprises in the plot right from the very first line I was sucked in to what is essentially a ghost story One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years The combina This book was epic It was full of violence, rape, mass murder, incest, bestiality and brutality The narrative spans over many generations of the one family and isn t always linear I loved this about the book the complex family trees, the magic realism, the twists and surprises in the plot right from the very first line I was sucked in to what is essentially a ghost story One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years The combination of horror and humour in this first part was so good and reminded me of some sort of zombie pulp fiction 500 pages and a week later I feel like I have a better understanding of the history of Indonesia, the impact of colonial powers on the nation and the warring militias that came afterwards It was a hard book to put down but that said, it was a full on read and I m now feeling quite overwhelmed I don t know if I would recommend it to many due to the extremely high levels of sexual violence I wonder if it was necessary and wasn t convinced by the women nation thing that seemed to be going on Women were always described in terms of their looks, which were used to drive men insane, causing them to rape and or kill themselves or those around them There are many tales of much older men marrying children This got really annoying and I started to wonder about the 26 yr old author and what exactly the book was trying to say about women flag 9 likesLike see review Dec 03, 2015 Huda rated it liked it Let me get this straight Beauty is a wound, because it fosters ill will and causes chaos among men Because men are such animals What I don t want to do is look at this story with the eyes of a haughty modernist, because this is meant to be an epic, and anyway its universe is not set in the rules of logic But mannnnnnnnn, what is with all the zoophilia and raping and all the making love and all those lol worthy ghosts, and I cannot even be done with listing all the depravities in this book Let me get this straight Beauty is a wound, because it fosters ill will and causes chaos among men Because men are such animals What I don t want to do is look at this story with the eyes of a haughty modernist, because this is meant to be an epic, and anyway its universe is not set in the rules of logic But mannnnnnnnn, what is with all the zoophilia and raping and all the making love and all those lol worthy ghosts, and I cannot even be done with listing all the depravities in this book It really does make me just close the book sometimes and just blink blink blink And yes, it was very much like A Hundred Years of Solitude The prose this time is clean and efficient, and even funny at times, and I can see a real parallel between the women in both books Ever the pillars, ever the survivors of a long storm.I wanted to like this book because reading it was never boring, but I found the passion comical and I greeted every depravity with an exasperated sigh, so I m gonna go sit on a fence P S Fair warning, lots and lots of rape P P S My friend recommended this book to me, saying it s a whole other thing , which I thought meant something real good So having read this now, I think I owe him a right smack flag 9 likesLike see review Sep 30, 2015 James rated it it was amazing I ve got to say that I don t usually read books that could be described as this one is in the Goodreads Description That is, one with as much violence murders, massacres, rapes, etc BUT, as hackneyed as it sounds, I could not put it down I can t totally explain why, except to say that the writing is so amazing you don t want to miss any of it And my burgeoning interest in translated fiction in general is part of it too The fact that it won the major translation award recently supports my I ve got to say that I don t usually read books that could be described as this one is in the Goodreads Description That is, one with as much violence murders, massacres, rapes, etc BUT, as hackneyed as it sounds, I could not put it down I can t totally explain why, except to say that the writing is so amazing you don t want to miss any of it And my burgeoning interest in translated fiction in general is part of it too The fact that it won the major translation award recently supports my gut feeling that it comes across to an English speaking audience as an accurate representation of the author s intent whatever accurate means when it comes to translation I loved that she left untranslated, italicized, many Indonesian words, leaving just enough sense of foreignness without being heavy handed And the translation was rife with humor how can this be translated Was that humor the same in the original idiom No idea But it is interesting to note the Indonesian reviews, for the stars 2 to 5, mostly 4 5 It s pretty cool to feel like I am sharing, and enjoying, a book with people whose culture I know nothing about Highly recommended, and don t be put off by the violence it is not graphic or detailed flag 9 likesLike see review View 1 comment Oct 16, 2007 Windry rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction, indonesian sebenarnya 2.8 kekuatannya ada di kandungan sejarah membaur dengan cerita sisanya, ini bukan buku untuk manusia lugu macam saya heran, ngomongin seks melulu dan keknya buku ini seharusnya bisa lebih tipis D flag 8 likesLike see review View 2 comments Aug 25, 2015 A rated it liked it Shelves read 2015 3.5 stars Impressively ambitious in its scope, especially considering Kurniawan was just 26 when this was originally published in early 2002 By comparison, Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez were both 40 when their generation spanning fabulist masterpieces first appeared on shelves.I bring up Garcia Marquez and Allende not arbitrarily but because magical realism whatever that means any is unquestionably the main influence on Kurniawan s 470pp charmer as you no doubt realized f 3.5 stars Impressively ambitious in its scope, especially considering Kurniawan was just 26 when this was originally published in early 2002 By comparison, Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez were both 40 when their generation spanning fabulist masterpieces first appeared on shelves.I bring up Garcia Marquez and Allende not arbitrarily but because magical realism whatever that means any is unquestionably the main influence on Kurniawan s 470pp charmer as you no doubt realized from the blurbs, other reviews, and the evocative Bali in the Time of Cholera cover design by John Gall Indeed, Gall s cover does a lot of heavy lifting for Kurniawan s ambitions put aside the dreamy, artsy assemblage of this New Directions English edition for a second to feast your eyes on this photo of the horror that is the original Indonesian editions, and just try to picture this book in conversation with a Nobel Prize winner Of course the plot is jammed full of not quite 100 Years of tricksily insolent ghosts, multiple people with identical names, endearingly impossible plot leaps, and sexy women in sexy tropical settings but crucially Kurniawan s narrator is keen to echo magical realism s high mythic tone, fanciful folkloric flourishes, and that patented wry, romantic, charmingly sexist voice throughout the mimicry of which Salman Rushdie has turned into an entire literary career.I bring up mimicry and the folly of youthful ambition because, unfortunately, this book is not quite successful as it wants to be In the fictional town of Hallimunda where the book takes places, the age difference between 26 and 40 years old is actually an entire generation, and that s key Kurniawan s book is jammed most full of rookie mistakes The book struggles to keep its convoluted plot from falling in on itself, and many parts drag Kurniawan is glitteringly brilliant at writing multifaceted women the first 50pp about Dewi Ayu, Beauty, and Rosinah are an unquestionable masterpiece , but his men are interchangeable cyphers, and also boors and also a bore to read about The lag between sections of looping back on itself stories is way too long, and as such much of the narrative feels inert, the momentum gone.That said, I would press this lightly into the hands of my friends The story is really quite charming and Kurniawan is vividly, callously, sweetly, voraciously imaginative As a book that has been heaped with lavish high literary praise alongside dour, polished, hegemonically canonical bitter pills like Ferrante, Franzen, etc., this odd project deserves praise as green as its style is for being so refreshingly different, and unapologetically so I guess I would not so much recommend this book specifically as I would recommend all English speakers wait anxiously for of Kurniawan s later books to be translated after all, he turns 40 this year flag 7 likesLike see review Jun 19, 2016 Didi rated it it was ok Shelves 2016 big book challenge, tbr over 400 pages flag 8 likesLike see review View 1 comment Mar 04, 2013 Fiza M rated it it was amazing review of another edition Novel yang aneh dan gila mengucap panjang Aku tak gemar sangat baca benda benda berkait hal perang, pemberontakkan, komunisme apatah lagi hal pelacuran tapi jalan cerita buku ini disusun sungguh rapi dan teratur menjadikan ia satu bacaan yang tidak membosankan Penulis sangat pandai mengolah setiap watak sehingga setiap watak dan karakter dibuku ini sama penting dengan Dewi Ayu Dari kisah Maman Gendeng ke Sang Sodancho terus ke Kamerad Kliwon juga perihal anak anak Dewi Ayu sendiri malah sehi Novel yang aneh dan gila mengucap panjang Aku tak gemar sangat baca benda benda berkait hal perang, pemberontakkan, komunisme apatah lagi hal pelacuran tapi jalan cerita buku ini disusun sungguh rapi dan teratur menjadikan ia satu bacaan yang tidak membosankan Penulis sangat pandai mengolah setiap watak sehingga setiap watak dan karakter dibuku ini sama penting dengan Dewi Ayu Dari kisah Maman Gendeng ke Sang Sodancho terus ke Kamerad Kliwon juga perihal anak anak Dewi Ayu sendiri malah sehingga ke cucu cucunya penulis sungguh teliti dan bijak mengemas alur cerita sehingga aku rasa buku ini tak perlukan seorang editor.Recommended walau endingnya pada aku kurang memuaskan, tapi ada pengajaran juga ya flag 6 likesLike see review Aug 06, 2017 Maria rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves my precious home library , , , , flag 5 likesLike see review Aug 22, 2015 Karen rated it it was ok Shelves bechdel_test_yes, bechdel_test_no, horror, mystery, racially_aware, humor, dead_women, abused_women, women_must_suffer, islamic_literature, fantasy, myths_and_fables, family_stories, history, 2016, southeast_asian_literature This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Content advisory for discussion of multiple rapes My enjoyment of this book followed a kind of reverse bell curve, with a really weak back end I started out really digging it a magic realist family fable about a Dewi Ayu, a Dutch Indo woman who comes back to life twenty one years after she died and after she gave birth to her fourth daughter, a monstrously ugly girl she named Beauty The prose felt solid and the voice was coming from an interesting, unusual place the story had the fe Content advisory for discussion of multiple rapes My enjoyment of this book followed a kind of reverse bell curve, with a really weak back end I started out really digging it a magic realist family fable about a Dewi Ayu, a Dutch Indo woman who comes back to life twenty one years after she died and after she gave birth to her fourth daughter, a monstrously ugly girl she named Beauty The prose felt solid and the voice was coming from an interesting, unusual place the story had the feel of folklore I hung with it for a couple hundred pages, following Dewi Ayu through the early years of her life and the chaos of war, in which she and other Indonesian women were forced into prostitution aka, systematic rape under the guise of comfort women by occupying Japanese soldiers Rough stuff, and hard to read, but the narrative voice seemed to understand that these were war crimes, and that the women suffered and the story still felt like it was following a through line Indonesian history, between the Dutch and the Japanese, isn t always pretty.Then things got weirder The story skipped around, visiting different characters related by blood or marriage to Dewi Ayu and her daughters, and while there was still some historical context the rise of Communism, the massacre of Communists, power struggles through the 1960s and 1970s , the voice seemed to get repeatedly distracted by minor household stuff There were some entertaining myths and some stories that seemed like retellings of myths, and they mostly wound back around again, sooner or later, to the Dewi Ayu clan although I couldn t always tell why we d taken that particular tangent.About three quarters of the way through the book, the story seems to fall apart We drop into the lives of a handful of different men who marry Dewi Ayu s daughters or otherwise get involved in her family life and Dewi Ayu herself disappears almost completely from the picture Instead, we spent pages and pages dwelling on these men s obsessive lust relationships with young girls, complete with meticulous, extended sex fantasy descriptions of the girls bodies And then we get tons and tons of rape Men are tempted by women, obsessed by women, driven wild by their lust for women And livestock One guy goes nuts and repeatedly rapes chickens to death, as well as countless dogs and kine They drug, kidnap, and rape girls and women, rape their wivesit goes on and on Women get pregnant from rape, are forced to marry their rapists, die of pain and regret and rape And the rapes are often described in bizarrely explicit, extended, almost blissfully pornographic passages that in any other context would be meant for titillation Phrases like make love and have sex are used interchangeably with rape, albeit mainly through the perspectives of the rapists themselves But honestly, it felt to me like the narrative voice also conflated these things at some points, or at the very least was playing fast and loose with the ideas.I almost didn t finish the book, becausewhat the The latter third of the book or thereabouts reads like a bizarre masturbatory rape dream written by someone with serious sexual issues I understand that colonization the occupation and forcible exploitation of a region by a foreign power is a kind of rape, although I take issue with the old hat analogy of colonial occupation to actual rape of the female body I understand the title of the book equates beauty with pain and injury But given the execution, I don t understand what I was supposed to feel or learn from most of this book I was left feeling like the author had taken a promising setup and driven it down a gross, personal back alley for his own purposes or maybe to be charitable, had lost control of what he was doing and gone way off the rails and no one, including his editor at New Directions or his female translator, had told him I didn t feel like the book ended with anything like a justification for the bizarre saturnalia it indulged in for so long, or like it ever adequately reassured me that it understood the distinctions between colonization and actual rape, or the problems of using graphic, extended, repeated depictions of rape to make a literary or political point This book started out feeling exciting and interesting and new Somewhere in the middle it folded in on itself like a crappy cake, and by the end what I had was something I mostly wanted to spit out flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments Nov 24, 2015 Jenny rated it it was ok Shelves books that stuck in my head This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I really wanted to like this book, but nope The story is ambitious, but the characters, especially the women, feel like chess pieces moved around a board then fully realized human beings.The women are all characterized by their beauty, their sexuality, and their willingness to please men All other traits, if they are assigned any, are only revealed when necessary to the plot One woman s chief characteristic is that she is fuckable Another woman is mute and the only things that we know I really wanted to like this book, but nope The story is ambitious, but the characters, especially the women, feel like chess pieces moved around a board then fully realized human beings.The women are all characterized by their beauty, their sexuality, and their willingness to please men All other traits, if they are assigned any, are only revealed when necessary to the plot One woman s chief characteristic is that she is fuckable Another woman is mute and the only things that we know about her are that she lives to serve a male character and is enthusiastic in bed And then she dies.Then there is the rape There is a lot of rape And frequently the word rape in these rape scenes is used interchangeably with fuck and make love, which is plenty problematic Yes, there are parts of this book that would be a religious conservative s dream text There is the part where a woman who is raped by her husband will not conceive a child because they were not with love never mind that in the previous section, her mother had three daughters from rapes But fear not, crazy men love can bloom in a hostage situation, and eventually the woman commits to loving her captor husband after he agrees not to execute her true love , and then they are able to have a child And then her part of the narrative is essentially done All of the women mostly fade from view after they birth the next child children into the plot I realize that this is an allegory of Indonesian history, and the village of Halimunda might be the best character in the story The style is fairy tale esque it has about as much character development as your average fairy tale I won t compare it to magical realism because good magical realism still creates fully developed characters , and I found it easy to read and I kept reading despite realizing the book and I were not going to get along fairly early on A part where a character waits for a newspaper is perhaps a nod to Benedict Anderson, and that thought amused me Maybe this just wasn t the thing I was in the mood for after a run of excellent books that dove into and explored the thoughts and feelings of characters, especially female characters, in a way that invited reflection on what it is to be human and how humanity is expressed But this book did not do that for me, and in the end it left me cold flag 5 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Is the translation bad 2 15 Jun 08, 2017 06 34AM Quirky Reads Bo Cantik Itu Luka Eka Kurniawan 4 57 Apr 09, 2016 06 18AM The Mookse and th 2016 Longlist Beauty Is a Wound 1 16 Mar 29, 2016 07 19AM Play Book Tag Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan 4 stars 9 27 Jan 31, 2016 04 56PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed.



Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan Reviews

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Rowena

One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Eka Kurniawan, Beauty is a WoundThis book has one of the best, most memorable opening sentences I ve ever read And it definitely set the stage for one of the most compelling and engrossing stories I ve read in a long time Over 500 pages of prose and I enjoyed every page Even without having any knowledge of the history of Indonesia, I loved it.Indonesia seems to have had a turbulent hist

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Perry

Fascinating Allegorical Tale of Indonesia f k a Dutch East Indies If you like tales of political social allegory, such as Animal Farm and One Hundred Years of Solitude, that exercise your brain, without overly challenging to the point of losing intrigue, the kind of story in which you delight in discovering or trying to the metaphorical meaning of actions, characters and things within, then I recommend you put this on your list of books to check out.This brilliant novel reflects and criticize

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Nicole~

Eka Kurniawan, said to be following in the giant steps of Indonesia s most famous author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer known for his anti colonial and social realism tetralogy, Buru Quartet , is a popular literary young blood who could be as heavily influenced by a host of literary icons His novel

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Marianne

It s true that oppressed people only have one tool of resistance run amok And if I have to tell you, revolution is nothing than a collective running amok, organized by one particular party Beauty is a Wound is one of only two so far works by Indonesian journalist, writer and designer, Eka Kurniawan that have been translated into English Twelve days after she gave birth to her fourth daughter ironically named Beauty , Dewi Ayu, even at fifty two still the most beautiful and desired pr

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Morana Mazor

Rijetko se meni dogodi da odustanem od knjige i ne pro itam je do kraja jer si ve nekako znam procijeniti to bi mi se svidjelo, a to ne bi Ali, u ovom sam se slu aju grdno prevarila doga a se i najboljima. Isto tako, elja da pi em osvrt i da svima pri am o nekoj knjizi naj e e me uhvati kada me neka knjiga odu evi. Ove druge eventualno spomenem, u nekoj raspravi ili, ako me netko ba upita za mi ljenje o odre enoj knjizi koja meni, eto, nije sjela Ali, ovaj put u vam ba na

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Kevin Ansbro

One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty one years Now that s the kind of beginning that will grab my attention If you like the magical realism of M rquez as I do , then this could be your cup of Colombian coffee although it s set in Indonesia the Colombian coffee bit was my play on words cup of tea, M rquez being from Colombia oh, forget it.Dewi Ayu, village prostitute and misanthrope gives birth to a hideous little baby an

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Amanda

This falls somewhere between a 2.5 and a 3.5 When I first started it I thought I was going to love it It had many shades of

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
jeremy

a beautiful, stirring, and powerful epic of indonesian politics and family, eka kurniawan s beauty is a wound cantik itu luka must surely be considered as one of the year s finest works of translated fiction sweeping across decades and generations, beauty is a wound is a violent, enchanted saga, compelling on account of both its impressive breadth and storytelling verve kurniawan, an indonesian journalist and author, published this remarkable novel when he was 27 years old released in engli

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Viv JM

DNF 40%This is a very rapey book and I really don t want to continue any further, specifically after a scene where a woman, after being gang raped on multiple occasions, is then consumed by lust for her rescuer No Just no I get that this book is satirical and allegorical and symbolic, but still The author doesn t graphically describe the rape scenes but there are just so many and I am really not convinced that they are necessary to the plot It s a shame, because I really liked the begin

thumbnail Title: Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan
Author:Eka Kurniawan
ISBN :
ranting: 3.5
Reviewer: 3364 Reviews
Description: The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are b

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