Child of all nations

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Penguin Books, May 1, 1996 - Fiction - 352 pages
6 Reviews
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 h

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Review: Child of All Nations (Tetralogi Buru #2)

User Review  - Juanita Rice - Goodreads

Please see my review of the first book in the Buru Quartet (This Earth of Mankind) for general background about the novels and the author, Indonesian Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006). Is it enough to ... Read full review

Review: Child of All Nations (Tetralogi Buru #2)

User Review  - Tyas Effendi - Goodreads

Cool! Pram knows well how the way to tell and tells me well how bad was the era. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
13
Section 3
28
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

One of Indonesia's most prominent authors, Toer spent most of his adult life in prison; his works have frequently been banned by the government. Toer's first novel, The Fugitive (1950), was written during his internment by the Dutch. Toer became a leading figure in the Marxist literary group Lekra and was again incarcerated after the 1965 overthrow of Sukarno, joining thousands of other left-wing artists on the prison island of Buru. The author of over 30 works of fiction and nonfiction, Toer is best known for his Buru tetralogy, which traces the birth of nationalism in Indonesia. Most of the work was composed as narration to fellow prisoners, then later recorded and published after Toer's release in 1979. Although the events of the tetralogy take place in the past, they must be understood in the context of his experiences at Buru. In 1988 Toer received the PEN Freedom-to-Write Award.

Max Lane is Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Sydney. In addition to numerous academic publications, he has actively supported political change in Indonesia since the mid-1970s, and has translated work by the acclaimed Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

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