Here is an open door into one of the most complex societies in the world today. These colorful stories, each uniquely different in style and subject matter, take issue with worn stereotypes and reflect both everyday life and the great upheavals that have marked modern Indonesian national life: the end of Dutch and then Japanese colonial rule, the bloody collapse of Sukarno's Old Order, subsequent consolidation of a regime commited to development, and coming soon a major and unpredictable leadership transition as Soeharto's thirty-year rule winds down. With a population approaching 200 million speaking 583 languages spread across 13,600 islands on 3 million square miles of ocean and with one of the world's largest economies, growing fast in the midst of persistent poverty, Indonesia demands our attention and understanding. Yet information about it is woefully scarce.
Anyone interested in Indonesia and its literature will find "Nusantara" (Homeland), expertly translated and introduced, an excellent place to,begin.