Compulsively readable, Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humour, and romance in an astonishing epic novel, in which the beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by every monstrosity.
Kurniawan’s gleefully grotesque hyperbole is a scathing critique of his young nation’s troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders, followed by three decades of Suharto’s despotic rule. Drawing on local sources – folk tales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit – and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Beauty is a Wound is passionate and ironic, exuberant and confronting. Hailed as ‘the next Pramoedya’, Eka Kurniawan is an exciting new voice in contemporary literature.
About the Author
Eka Kurniawan was born in 1975 and is the author of novels, short stories, essays, movie scripts, and graphic novels. He has been described by the Jakarta Post as ‘one of the few influential writers in Indonesia.’ Annie Tucker won a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Award for this translation.