Indonesia got a little out of control. There were thirteen books on my list, so I started to do a little research to see if I could knock a few of them off, and ended up adding eight more. I did manage to take three off the list: Indonesia, etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation by Elizabeth Pisani (even though a friend recommended it, because it’s non-fiction and the author is not Indonesian); Pain and Suffering by Merari Siregar because it doesn’t seem to have been translated into English; and Oceanic Mythology by Roland B. Dixon because I read the first two sections (on Australia and Polynesia) and hated it. So now I have a list of eighteen, and am working my way through them. There is no way I’m going to finish this reading list before I die, but hopefully if there’s an afterlife there will be books there, I guess.
Indonesia is an archipelago, and there are many distinct cultures between and even within islands. I’ve included the settings of each work in parentheses.

  1. Desawarnana, Mpu Prapanca, 1365 [Java]
    1. Translation 1: Java in the Fourteenth Century, Theodore G. Th. Pigeaud, 1960
    2. Translation 2: S.O. Robson, 1995
  2. Blossoms of Longing: Ancient Verses of Love and Lament from the Old Javanese, trans. Thomas M. Hunter, 1998 (texts from 12th-14th c.) [Java]
  3. Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company, Multatuli, 1820 [Java]
  4. Sitti Nurbaya: A Love Unrealized, Marah Rusli [Sumatra/Java]
  5. The Black Lake, Hella Haasse, 1948 [Java]
  6. The Ten Thousand Things, Maria Dermoût, 1955 [Maluku]
  7. This Earth of Mankind, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, 1975 [Java]
  8. The Weaverbirds, Y.B. Mangunwijaya, 1981 [Java]
  9. Jazz, Perfume, and the Incident, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, 1996 [Timor/Java]
  10. Saman, Ayu Utami, 1998 [Sumatra]
  11. Earth Dance, Oka Rusmini, 2003 [Bali]
  12. The Original Dream, Nukila Amal, 2003 [Maluku/Java]
  13. The Rainbow Troops, Andrea Hirata, 2005 [Belitung (Sumatra)]
  14. The Birth of I La Galigo, Mohamad Salim, John H. McGlynn, Sapardi Djoko Damono, 2005 [Sulawesi]
  15. Daughters of Papua, Anindita S. Thayf, 2009
  16. The Outcast, Okky Madasari, 2012
  17. Kei, Erni Aladjai, 2013
  18. Potions and Paper Cranes, Lan Fang, 2013


Not read:

  • Oceanic Mythology (Indonesia Section), Roland B. Dixon, 1916
  • Pain and Suffering (Azab dan Sengsara), Merari Siregar, 1920
  • Indonesia, etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, Elizabeth Pisani, 2014