My Pain, My Country
It is May 1998, and riots have sprung up across Indonesia with attacks targeting the ethnic Chinese. Buildings are being set alight all around as helpless crowds watch their communities burn to the ground. More
It is May 1998, and riots have sprung up across Indonesia with attacks targeting the ethnic Chinese. Buildings are being set alight all around as helpless crowds watch their communities burn to the ground. Nina, a young Indonesian woman of Chinese descent, feels compelled to help her fellow student activists but finds herself in harm’s way amid the mass gang-raping of Chinese women. Despite the government’s best efforts to deny these allegations, the lives of many were dramatically changed by the traumatic events. Nina’s heart-breaking experience is laced with cultural imagery and an emotional depth that will leave you awed.
‘A powerful and engaging story about a national scandal the nation prefers to deny or forget. A must-read for anyone interested in contemporary Indonesia and her recent past.’
Ariel Heryanto, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
‘Dewi Anggraeni creates poignant, interweaving plots of three generations of women in a family struggling to come to terms with a tragedy, which blends unspeakable violence, tormenting guilt, and lingering shame with the beauty of the batik-making art and the poetics of writing, to open up a slippery path toward a healing process that refuses to forget while continuing to move on. The life journey of each of the characters allegorizes the growing pain a nation must experience to fulfil its destiny as a diverse, multilingual and multi-ethnic society against deeply rooted prejudice and bigotry.’
Manneke Budiman, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
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