Independence Day & Other Stories

Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Translated from the Indonesian by Willem Samuels

In these three warm and nuanced tales, written when he was twenty-five, Indonesia’s supreme storyteller Pramoedya Ananta Toer gives us vivid, memorable characters caught between optimism and a darker place.

A disabled veteran of his country’s war of independence against the Dutch slowly succumbs to despair; a child bride’s lost innocence is cherished by her observant younger neighbour; and a young boy views his impending circumcision with anxiety and excitement on account of its significance – and the gifts that will accompany it.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, one of Indonesia’s most important writers, was the author of more than thirty books – all of which were banned in Indonesia at various times. A resolute political activist, he was incarcerated by the Dutch colonial authorities and again by the Sukarno and Suharto regimes (for nearly fourteen years under the latter). While he was always outspoken, the political overtones of his works were nevertheless subtle. The recipient of numerous awards and honours, including PEN America’s Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chile’s Pablo Neruda Award, he was freed for good in 1992.

Willem Samuels is the pen name of John H. McGlynn. He is a long-term resident of Indonesia, having lived in Jakarta almost continuously since 1976. He has translated several dozen books, subtitled scores of Indonesian feature films and produced more than thirty documentary films on Indonesian writers. Through the Lontar Foundation, which he co-founded with four Indonesian authors in 1987, he has brought into print more than one hundred books on Indonesian literature and culture.

ISBN 97819114754155 – Paperback – 110 mm x 140 mm – 96 pages
 – £2.99

BUY NOW