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Paris, Mei 1968. Ketika revolusi mahasiswa berkecamuk di Paris, Dimas Suryo seorang eksil politik Indonesia bertemu Vivienne Deveraux, seorang mahasiswa Prancis yang ikut demonstrasi melawan pemerintah Prancis. Pada saat yang sama, Dimas menerima kabar dari Jakarta: Hananto Prawiro, sahabatnya, ditangkap tentara dan dinyatakan tewas. Dimas merasa cemas dan gamang. Bersama Paris, Mei 1968. Ketika revolusi mahasiswa berkecamuk di Paris, Dimas Suryo seorang eksil politik Indonesia bertemu Vivienne Deveraux, seorang mahasiswa Prancis yang ikut demonstrasi melawan pemerintah Prancis. Pada saat yang sama, Dimas menerima kabar dari Jakarta: Hananto Prawiro, sahabatnya, ditangkap tentara dan dinyatakan tewas. Dimas merasa cemas dan gamang. Bersama puluhan wartawan dan seniman lain, dia tak bisa kembali ke Jakarta karena paspornya dicabut oleh pemerintah Indonesia. Sejak itu mereka mengelana tanpa status yang jelas dari Santiago ke Havana, ke Peking dan akhirnya mendarat di tanah Eropa untuk mendapatkan suaka dan menetap di sana. Di tengah kesibukan mengelola Restoran Tanah Air di Paris bersama tiga kawannya: Nug, Tjai, dan Risjaf—mereka berempat disebut Empat Pilar Tanah Air—Dimas, terus-menerus dikejar rasa bersalah karena kawan-kawannya di Indonesia satu persatu tumbang, dikejar, ditembak, atau menghilang begitu saja dalam perburuan Peristiwa 30 September. Apalagi dia tak bisa melupakan Surti Anandari—isteri Hananto—yang bersama ketiga anaknya berbulan-bulan diinterogasi tentara.


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Paris, Mei 1968. Ketika revolusi mahasiswa berkecamuk di Paris, Dimas Suryo seorang eksil politik Indonesia bertemu Vivienne Deveraux, seorang mahasiswa Prancis yang ikut demonstrasi melawan pemerintah Prancis. Pada saat yang sama, Dimas menerima kabar dari Jakarta: Hananto Prawiro, sahabatnya, ditangkap tentara dan dinyatakan tewas. Dimas merasa cemas dan gamang. Bersama Paris, Mei 1968. Ketika revolusi mahasiswa berkecamuk di Paris, Dimas Suryo seorang eksil politik Indonesia bertemu Vivienne Deveraux, seorang mahasiswa Prancis yang ikut demonstrasi melawan pemerintah Prancis. Pada saat yang sama, Dimas menerima kabar dari Jakarta: Hananto Prawiro, sahabatnya, ditangkap tentara dan dinyatakan tewas. Dimas merasa cemas dan gamang. Bersama puluhan wartawan dan seniman lain, dia tak bisa kembali ke Jakarta karena paspornya dicabut oleh pemerintah Indonesia. Sejak itu mereka mengelana tanpa status yang jelas dari Santiago ke Havana, ke Peking dan akhirnya mendarat di tanah Eropa untuk mendapatkan suaka dan menetap di sana. Di tengah kesibukan mengelola Restoran Tanah Air di Paris bersama tiga kawannya: Nug, Tjai, dan Risjaf—mereka berempat disebut Empat Pilar Tanah Air—Dimas, terus-menerus dikejar rasa bersalah karena kawan-kawannya di Indonesia satu persatu tumbang, dikejar, ditembak, atau menghilang begitu saja dalam perburuan Peristiwa 30 September. Apalagi dia tak bisa melupakan Surti Anandari—isteri Hananto—yang bersama ketiga anaknya berbulan-bulan diinterogasi tentara.

30 review for Pulang

  1. 4 out of 5

    Azarine Arinta

    Review ini harus dibuka dengan kutipan dari Franz Kafka,"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." Buku ini begitu lua Review ini harus dibuka dengan kutipan dari Franz Kafka,"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." Buku ini begitu luar biasa dan mengguncang syaraf syaraf excitement saya sehingga saya begitu berdeterminasi untuk menghabiskannya dalam waktu secepatnya.Sensasi buku dari Leila S. Chudori ini seperti sensasi yang diberikan oleh Pramoedya Ananta Toer dalam tetralogi Buru nya namun dengan sentuhan modernitas dan nuansa drama romantika masa kini yang saya rasa merupakan pengaruh dari Leila yang juga menulis script film.Buku ini begitu membuka mata saya tentang masa yang tidak saya kenal sama sekali, masa Orde Baru. Lahir di tahun 90'an dan baru berusia 6 tahun ketika reformasi terjadi di Indonesia, saya sama sekali buta dengan zaman dimana mahasiswa tidak mungkin membaca buku kaya Karl Marx dan berkumpul untuk mendiskusikan ideologi-ideologi besar dunia.Buku ini juga menampar saya dengan kenyataan bahwa saya selama 12 tahun bersekolah telah menelan bulat-bulat sejarah yang ditulis di buku-buku pelajaran dan didalam diri ini telah tertanam bahwa komunis adalah ideologi yang gagal dan nama seperti Aidit, Semaun, dll adalah nama seorang kriminal. Buku ini membuka cakrawala dalam artian bahwa saya telah terlalu banyak melihat hanya dari satu sisi dan saya diberikan pelajaran bahwa segala sesuatu yang dilihat harus seimbang, dari kedua sisi dan tidak memilih untuk condong ke sisi manapun juga adalah suatu pilihan. Meskipun buku ini sarat dengan muatan politik, tetapi buku ini juga mengeksplorasi keindahan sastra dengan banyaknya kutipan dan referensi dari sastrawan terkenal seperti Chairil Anwar, Lord Byron, T.S. Elliot, George Orwell, James Joyce dan tanpa melupakan sentimentalitas dari romantika anak muda di kota Paris. Terima kasih Leila S. Chudori, buku anda begitu menyentakkan hati ini dan pengalaman menyenangkan bersama Dimas Suryo dkk ini akan saya tularkan kepada teman-teman lain.

  2. 4 out of 5

    lita

    I moved this review to my blog

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Morton

    My roots were in a foreign land. I was born in France, a country with a beautiful body and fragrant scent. But, according to my father, my blood came from another country one far distant from the European land mass, a place that gave the world the scent of cloves and wasted sadness; a land of fecundity, rich with plants of myriad colors, shapes, and faiths, yet one that could crush its own citizens merely because of a difference in opinion. I love being able to add new shelves for my books on GR My roots were in a foreign land. I was born in France, a country with a beautiful body and fragrant scent. But, according to my father, my blood came from another country one far distant from the European land mass, a place that gave the world the scent of cloves and wasted sadness; a land of fecundity, rich with plants of myriad colors, shapes, and faiths, yet one that could crush its own citizens merely because of a difference in opinion. I love being able to add new shelves for my books on GR - it feels like an expansion of perspective, no matter how minor. I'm frequently surprised when I need to add a shelf as well: "have I really never read any Indonesian literature until now? Did I really not know any of this history?" I had not. I did not. This is a lovely book. It is dense with history (specifically the history of Indonesia post-1965, until the end of the dictatorship in 1998), and in that sense it is expansive, encompassing; but it is also deeply personal, focusing on a group of exiles, and their families, and the diaspora they create in France, and the various places that can be "home"; thus it is also introspective, deeply personal. It succeeds at both, and it is elevated by succeeding at both. It doesn't hurt that it's compulsively readable: I read this obsessively over the last two days, and I'm sad it is done, but I'm glad to have spent the time exploring its pages. This publisher (Deep Vellum) continues to impress me. I really need to get to their store, since they're local and all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    I began reading Pulang/Home (English translation) after hearing Leila Chudori speak at my university a couple of weeks ago. Other than this book, I have never read any other Indonesian literature and thought Pulang sounded like an interesting place to start - and it was. I have limited knowledge about Indonesia's political history but Leila Chudori covered the historical side well. It was shocking to learn what happened in 1965 and the years that followed. However, the book is not entirely about I began reading Pulang/Home (English translation) after hearing Leila Chudori speak at my university a couple of weeks ago. Other than this book, I have never read any other Indonesian literature and thought Pulang sounded like an interesting place to start - and it was. I have limited knowledge about Indonesia's political history but Leila Chudori covered the historical side well. It was shocking to learn what happened in 1965 and the years that followed. However, the book is not entirely about history. Most of it focuses on the post-1965 life of political exiles and the younger generation, especially Lintang, the daughter of one exile. It includes romance, family relations, action and more. What I loved most about Pulang was the characters. They were complex and well-developed, so I became invested in their stories and kept wanting to read. There were some disappointments, particularly the ending. It wasn't bad, but I feel like it left several loose ends which frustrated me. It would have been nice to have more answers. I personally also found the descriptions to sometimes be a little strange, but I assumed this is largely due to being a translated version. On the whole though, I loved this book and give it 4/5 stars :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ardita Çaesari

    This book had me at, "Un tres bon plat, Ayah." It was a sentence that lift the whole thing, summarized details that followed later into the book. I haven't read good story in Bahasa Indonesia for quite a while. I'd like to say "Pulang" shed a light on many things. It's a new hybrid of a genre that comes with a bibliography (which means: pretty thorough research). The characters study, the plot, the sub-plot, the atmosphere building, and the intimacy were just the right dose. For me, at least. It This book had me at, "Un tres bon plat, Ayah." It was a sentence that lift the whole thing, summarized details that followed later into the book. I haven't read good story in Bahasa Indonesia for quite a while. I'd like to say "Pulang" shed a light on many things. It's a new hybrid of a genre that comes with a bibliography (which means: pretty thorough research). The characters study, the plot, the sub-plot, the atmosphere building, and the intimacy were just the right dose. For me, at least. It didn't burden you with heavy theories, mind-boggling facts and philosophy. It was a story about four men and their families and friends (though not all were included, otherwise it would be biblical) caught in a political storm. Though on the other hand, "Pulang" attests to Seno Gumira Ajidarma's "ketika jurnalisme dibungkam, sastra bicara" (when journalism is banned, literature rises). I guess Chudori's background as a journalist helped. Otherwise things would be too flowery and prose-y. Also, the whole manuscript has a good dose of English language logic, sewn into the journalistic style Bahasa Indonesia. What I like most was different linguistic style (diction, the way they talk, mostly) used by two different generations, the exile gang in Paris and the young activists in Jakarta. It would be interesting to have a deeper look at this subject. I attended a short talk show on women political prisoners (of the 65 political calamity) a couple of years back, discussing a short documentary about them. A prominent movie maker took the stage. A question from one of the woman featured in the documentary,"what would you think about making a movie with this theme." The movie maker says,"that would be very difficult." That was 2010 or 11, I forgot. As a children of "Orde Baru" (new regime), forced to see the garish "Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI" propaganda and was taken to "Monumen Pancasila Sakti" during holiday, studied Politics, read summary of Marx thoughts (not the book, which would just fly through my head), saw "Act of Killing", I'd really love to see this book goes into cinema, with serious research and scriptwriting and all. Otherwise, it would be a huge waste of talent and story ideas if this book is not properly translated into cinematic experience. Could someone get Anna Hathaway to take up the role of "Lintang Utara" or "Vivienne Deveraux"? Oh, and perhaps that director from "Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk" who just nailed everything nicely.. If only.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    This book looks at the impact on those considered to be enemies of the State as part of Sukarno's crackdown in 1965. The book then follows a small group of Indonesians and their families who find themselves unable to return to their country and are stuck in Paris. The book then moves to the end of the General Suharto era in 1998. Their is some coverage of the tortures, deaths and imprisonment that occurred under Suharto but this was often shadowed by various diversions. I don't know whether the i This book looks at the impact on those considered to be enemies of the State as part of Sukarno's crackdown in 1965. The book then follows a small group of Indonesians and their families who find themselves unable to return to their country and are stuck in Paris. The book then moves to the end of the General Suharto era in 1998. Their is some coverage of the tortures, deaths and imprisonment that occurred under Suharto but this was often shadowed by various diversions. I don't know whether the impact of the story was lost in translation but I felt no real interest in the characters, no actual tension built, there was a constant shift of narrators and timelines, a lot of unnecessary diversions into various character's love lives and a long section devoted to the cooking and recipes of one of the main characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Leila S. Chudori’s Home (translated by John H. McGlynn) circles around a black day in Indonesian history, while not revealing much about what happened on September 30, 1965. Instead, it details the long aftermath of the violence and the violent, repressive crackdown on communism through the lives of Dimas Suryo and his family. McGlynn’s translation includes some poorly chosen words and the book could have done with more editing, as it contains some typos... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Leila S. Chudori’s Home (translated by John H. McGlynn) circles around a black day in Indonesian history, while not revealing much about what happened on September 30, 1965. Instead, it details the long aftermath of the violence and the violent, repressive crackdown on communism through the lives of Dimas Suryo and his family. McGlynn’s translation includes some poorly chosen words and the book could have done with more editing, as it contains some typos... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    "I might ask instead who are history’s owners? Indeed, who is it that determines who is a hero and who is a traitor? Who is it that determines the accuracy of events? Is it the historians who were hired and paid by the government to write the official history of September 1965? Or is it that far smaller number of historians and intellectuals who have dared to ask about issues not recorded in official history? I know several Indonesian historians who have long been itching to dig up, uncover, and "I might ask instead who are history’s owners? Indeed, who is it that determines who is a hero and who is a traitor? Who is it that determines the accuracy of events? Is it the historians who were hired and paid by the government to write the official history of September 1965? Or is it that far smaller number of historians and intellectuals who have dared to ask about issues not recorded in official history? I know several Indonesian historians who have long been itching to dig up, uncover, and refute the New Order’s official version of history. I know of their grumbling-in academic terms, that is- about the twisting of history and the amplification of certain events so that particular individuals emerge as heroes." On the evening of 30 September 1965, a group of militants captured and executed six of Indonesia's top military generals. That event was the beginning of large-scale killings and civil unrest over several months, targeting Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) party members, ethnic Chinese and alleged leftists, often at the instigation of the armed forces and government. The most widely published estimates were that 500,000 to more than one million people were killed, with some more recent estimates going as high as two to three million. The upheavals led to the fall of President Sukarno and Suharto emerged as a nation hero and established the New Order regime that ruled the country for the next 32 years. The history of this event was manipulated by Suharto and his New Order regime. Newspaper offices were shut down and journalists were executed and banned from the country. A whole generation of Indonesians was raised in a world of forced silence where facts were suppressed and left unspoken. Pulang (Home) by Leila S. Chudori tells the event from the point of view of Dimas Suryo, a journalist working in Jakarta for a newspaper staffed with Marxists, leftists and communists. While attending journalism conferences in Cuba and China, the coup occurred. His office was shut down and his passport was revoked. He sought asylum in France. Much like the Syrians seeking political asylum today, the Indonesian exiles are people without a country forced to adapt to foreign ways of life, far from the comforts of their families and familiar foods. Together with other Indonesian journalists, they established an Indonesian restaurant and settle down in Paris. Despite it all, Dimas was unable to make Paris and his family a home. “Dimas’s spirit remained in the nest where he had been born and raised. Differing from other gulls of the same generation, Dimas was a bird that always wanted to return to the land of his birth, never content to simply remain with the family he had formed in an alien land.” Over thirty years later, his daughter was asked to produce a documentary of the victims to complete her undergraduate degree. She fled to Indonesia only to find another upheaval. In the second half of 1997, Indonesia became the country hardest hit by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The economy suffered a flight of foreign capital leading to the Indonesian rupiah falling from Rp 2,600 per dollar in August 1997 to over Rp 14,800 per dollar by January 1998. The Indonesian companies with US dollar-denominated borrowings struggled to service these debts with their rupiah earnings, and many went bankrupt. Suharto attempted to instill confidence but with the sharp increase of prices, the country revolted and forced him to resign. The New Order regime fell. This is a story about people, migrants, family, history, politics, love and humanity. Although it discuses about event that happened 45 years ago, the story is very relevant today where we see even more propaganda and whistleblowers are executed/poisoned and banned from their country. This book is a great reminder to listen to another side of the story, to critically assess news, and to fight for the truth. “Your final assignment will help to explain a small part of the country, will reveal a few of the voices to be found there. I do not use the word “small” disparagingly, because I am confident that your work will have an immense impact. Your documentary will be another voice, a voice from the other side which for thirty-two years has been silenced.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sookie

    Home is a novel about search for roots, finding what makes homeland "our homeland" ; is it the people, our memories, cultural diaspora we are genetically coded to, or is it where we have our identity unquestionably present? This book goes in search for answers to all these questions and more set during most turbulent times in Indonesian history. (Much of this history is still unveiled and explored by the state, and the novel is more than a decade old.) An Indonesian man is forced to become an exp Home is a novel about search for roots, finding what makes homeland "our homeland" ; is it the people, our memories, cultural diaspora we are genetically coded to, or is it where we have our identity unquestionably present? This book goes in search for answers to all these questions and more set during most turbulent times in Indonesian history. (Much of this history is still unveiled and explored by the state, and the novel is more than a decade old.) An Indonesian man is forced to become an expatriate in France, finds love, gets married, has a career and longs for home. He longs for family he lost, longs for the career he once had and the changes he once wanted to bring about his society, his first love and the names he dreamed of, his little dream - and all were thwarted after a political unrest in the country (on 30th September 1965) after which political violence followed. The protagonist finds a new home in Paris but even after decades, his homeland remains the country that didn't want him. The second half of the book is his daughter's quest for identity which reads better than the father's perspective. As a story, its fine. There is a lot of historical facts, anecdotes am sure is heavily edited and paraphrased and is familiar to a lot of readers, but the pacing of the book as such suffers. This happens every few pages when the plot suddenly shifts timelines or pick up a thread that works as a great buffer but ineffective for the overarching story. I do wish the supporting characters got a perspective as well and that's because they are all expats like the protagonist and they all have their own thing going on. The intersecting conversations would have had a profound deeper impact had that been the case. The writing in itself is accessible, I could read the whole book in two sittings in a single day. Its easy to consume and I am not sure if this is a personal preference or not - while dealing with politically sensitive issues, the author doesn't engage with the complex dynamics of social impact directly with the reader, and they are all told in an epistolary fashion. It works to the book's advantage and we get the impact of the news, of the politics from the point of view of the protagonist and not the author. Politics aside, the author introduces (new) readers to Indonesia as a whole - the customs, politics, the culture, the cuisine, some mythological snippets and little things that give the flavor of that diaspora. Its lovely to see it all encompassed in a book and present it to a reader who is new to Indonesian literature.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rahman Rasyidi

    This book is like a hand-sewn mosaic art with the characters as its patch and their story as the connecting string. Sometimes it moves too fast, sometimes it needs to go back and forth. We can see how beautiful the craft is made in the end. Haha, perhaps not a very good analogy but at least that's how I felt after reading it. This book also made me think about the word "pulang" itself - how it can mean differently depending on the person. This book is like a hand-sewn mosaic art with the characters as its patch and their story as the connecting string. Sometimes it moves too fast, sometimes it needs to go back and forth. We can see how beautiful the craft is made in the end. Haha, perhaps not a very good analogy but at least that's how I felt after reading it. This book also made me think about the word "pulang" itself - how it can mean differently depending on the person.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Libertina Judith

    pardon my not-so-good review, but well i feel like i need to write a review about this book. this book compelled me into reading it by its promising Indonesia historical background. i think the story (should be) good, it has potential. BUT. 1. the story about May 1998 is not emphasized enough. for me it's just Lintang and Alam witnessing the chaos.....so what? the book didn't even write about the moment Soeharto left his throne. 2. i am somewhat confused with the plot, the complications and the solut pardon my not-so-good review, but well i feel like i need to write a review about this book. this book compelled me into reading it by its promising Indonesia historical background. i think the story (should be) good, it has potential. BUT. 1. the story about May 1998 is not emphasized enough. for me it's just Lintang and Alam witnessing the chaos.....so what? the book didn't even write about the moment Soeharto left his throne. 2. i am somewhat confused with the plot, the complications and the solutions. the ending is not that satisfying either (i am that type who thinks plot is a serious matter). add the cliche romantic story between Lintang and Alam--i don't think this is a good idea to spice up the story. 3. most of all i don't like the way the author tells the story. i don't like the choice of words--i feel like reading an awkwardly translated novel. and when the author describes the romance (or lust?) between the characters, i was just like, ugh. i was thinking about giving this book 3 stars for the effort, but well what can i do? i don't like this book, so....2 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wella Madjid

    historical moments and events in Paris, France and Jakarta, Indonesia in between 1960s-1998 in this book were blended perfectly, whole-heartedly by one of the prominent indonesian women writer, Leila S. Chudori. It talks about one of the darkest political history that still unreaveled by Indonesian government until now: 30 September 1965 incident engaged Indonesian Communist Party. Just like political incident with blood that happened in Aceh, Papua and Santa Cruz, I believe that literature can historical moments and events in Paris, France and Jakarta, Indonesia in between 1960s-1998 in this book were blended perfectly, whole-heartedly by one of the prominent indonesian women writer, Leila S. Chudori. It talks about one of the darkest political history that still unreaveled by Indonesian government until now: 30 September 1965 incident engaged Indonesian Communist Party. Just like political incident with blood that happened in Aceh, Papua and Santa Cruz, I believe that literature can finally explaining what had happened in the past, without burdened with history. Good documentations from young generations now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Lim

    The theme of this book is actually very interesting. Politics, history, Indonesia, France, New Order, Soeharto's decline, etc etc. It felt personal to me too, since I've known a few political exile during my stay in Holland. But I had some complaints: the writing (language is a bit awkward here and there), the romance (took too much part of the book), and the ending (unexplainable and a bit anti climactic). But I'll still recommend this for any Indonesian literature readers. The theme of this book is actually very interesting. Politics, history, Indonesia, France, New Order, Soeharto's decline, etc etc. It felt personal to me too, since I've known a few political exile during my stay in Holland. But I had some complaints: the writing (language is a bit awkward here and there), the romance (took too much part of the book), and the ending (unexplainable and a bit anti climactic). But I'll still recommend this for any Indonesian literature readers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kramer

    Robert Frost once said that “home is our destination, the place that will embrace us.” It is a place of comfort, culture, family, and, in the case of Leila Chudori's Home, food. Chudori's story tells of a family oppressed and stigmatised by the 1960’s Indonesian military regime. Originally written and published in Bahasa Indonesian as Pulang, Home is forthcoming in English from Deep Vellum Publishing, translated by John H. McGlynn. Chudori won the Khatulistiwa award for her book, Indonesia's for Robert Frost once said that “home is our destination, the place that will embrace us.” It is a place of comfort, culture, family, and, in the case of Leila Chudori's Home, food. Chudori's story tells of a family oppressed and stigmatised by the 1960’s Indonesian military regime. Originally written and published in Bahasa Indonesian as Pulang, Home is forthcoming in English from Deep Vellum Publishing, translated by John H. McGlynn. Chudori won the Khatulistiwa award for her book, Indonesia's foremost literary prize. A world-renowned investigative journalist, Chudori spent six years researching the rise and fall of Indonesia's longest reigning leader, President Suharto, in preparation for writing her novel. On September 30, 1965, an aborted coup to oust the president of Indonesia resulted in a series of mass killings that would go on to shape Indonesian culture for more than thirty years. Known as the Thirtieth September Movement, a group of rebels assassinated six members of the military regime in an attempt to overthrow the government. In the months that followed, President Suharto wrested control from the ousted President Sukarno and embarked on a vast campaign to terrorise leftward-leaning political groups and brand them as responsible for the coup attempt. Thousands of suspected communists were killed or tortured. Hundreds more were exiled, never to be given the chance to return to their country. An immense propaganda machine began churning out the government's official story, labelling rebels, communists and political activists as traitors. This public shaming isolated multiple generations of those related to the so-called "communists" from the normal workings of society. Dimas Suryo, Home’s protagonist, is a journalist for communist-leaning Nukantara News in Jakarta. He is abroad at a series of journalism conferences during the events of September 1965, immediately labelled a communist by those in Indonesia and exiled for life. Suryo spends the next few years in Maoist China, exploring and then rejecting communist theory as he witnesses its fatal flaws come to life in the agricultural struggles of the Chinese people. Eventually, he and his fellow exiles find themselves in Paris, where they establish an Indonesian restaurant, the Tanah Air, and develop a kind of half-life, welcomed by the French and yet yearning to return to their home. Within the next thirty years, Suryo marries a Frenchwoman, Vivienne, has a daughter, Lintang, divorces Vivienne, and attempts an immediately denied return to Indonesia. Each of these major life events occupy a few brief sentences. Much of the book is instead devoted to Dimas's sensual relationship with food, as only through cooking can he find peace within himself. Chudori revels in rich descriptions of the sharp smells and tastes of coconut, chili, turmeric, and onions, the painstaking process of frying tempeh and goat satay, and the careful skill needed to eat the rice-based food using the fingers in the Indonesian style. Dimas's daughter, Lintang, embraces the food and language of her father but grows up a Frenchwoman, ultimately denying her Indonesian political heritage. While a film student at the Sorbonne, Lintang is assigned a project that focuses on the events that forced her father to Paris. Finally confronting the history she has always avoided, Lintang travels to Indonesia in 1998, just as political turmoil is once more rocking the country. In the month that follows, she meets the many family and former friends of her father, documenting their stories of torture and shame following his escape to Paris. The multitudinous perspectives of Chudori's sprawling tale begin to grow once Lintang reaches Indonesia, touching upon the torture of Dimas's former lover, Surti, and her daughter, Kenanga, as well as the revolutionary spirit of the family left behind. In the weeks that follow Lintang's arrival to Jakarta, enormous protests rock the country in a student movement calling for the resignation of President Suharto. Chudori captures the experience of a young woman discovering where she belongs; amidst the calls for “Reformasi!” Lintang declares that “the off-key sound of the student voices was beautiful to my ears, even more stirring than a Ravel composition. Now I felt that I knew where my home was.” Food, language, politics, and family finally intertwine, combining to create a culture she can call her "destination, the place that will embrace" her. The novel concludes with what should be the dramatic parallel climax of Suryo’s life story and the Suharto regime. Instead, both fall flat, empty of emotional investment by the characters and the author. The many threads of this family saga tangle together but never quite mesh, growing distended and complex by the story’s conclusion. Lintang's developing romance remains caught in her struggle to choose between a love in Indonesia and her boyfriend in France. The snapshot of Surti and her daughter are painfully fleeting. The fate of her father's friends at the Tanah Air restaurant is unaddressed, let alone resolved. Even Lintang herself remains under-developed, the question of whether France or Indonesia will become her home left for the reader to ponder. Chudori is at her best in moments of tense interaction. The short episode of Lintang's wealthy, expatriate French-Indonesian boyfriend meeting her exiled father is heavy with conflict and artfully executed. Lintang's first interaction with one of the few wealthy families who support the Suharto regime brims with rage and hatred. These few redeeming moments cannot, however, compensate for the novel's bloated length, caused by Chudori's extraordinary proclivity for plot repetition and unnecessary complexity. The opening chapters, for instance, explain in depth the various political leanings of journalists at Nukantara News, explanations that prove external to the plot. Worse, complex descriptions of complex political theories distract from the cataclysmic events of 1965 that drive the remainder of the story. Language, too, serves as a barrier; stilted and awkward phrasing can make for a choppy and slow-moving read. Home is an epic family saga that, while capturing the spirit of Indonesian political exiles, is ultimately on a quest for truth. For thirty years, accredited historians were granted licenses and employed by the Indonesian government; Chudori attempts to find the facts behind their “official” version of history, probing deep into the controversy that destroyed so many in 1965. Though at times slow-moving and awkward, Home’s power lies in its complex illumination of Indonesia’s unrecorded history, in the process becoming an important addition to the virtually non-existent Indonesian English-language literary canon.

  15. 4 out of 5

    asih simanis

    Overall This was a beautifully written emotional roller coaster set through some of the most important events in Indonesian history, the 1965 Communist massacre and the 1998 Reformation. The story is told through the perspective of a family of exiles, Indonesians who were considered to be part of the Communists and therefore were not able to return to Indonesia. I loved how full of details the book was, showing the extend of knowledge Leila had on her subjects, the Indonesian exiles. The way she Overall This was a beautifully written emotional roller coaster set through some of the most important events in Indonesian history, the 1965 Communist massacre and the 1998 Reformation. The story is told through the perspective of a family of exiles, Indonesians who were considered to be part of the Communists and therefore were not able to return to Indonesia. I loved how full of details the book was, showing the extend of knowledge Leila had on her subjects, the Indonesian exiles. The way she told her story, by incorporating different perspectives through letters is also beautiful. She was able to make us care and love all characters, showing them in their complexities. The book is not without its flaws though, I felt that she had rushed the ending, that 10% of the book could've been completed better. Also her characters are all handsome and beautiful, which somehow contradicts how she wanted to portray them as complex beings. I wondered through the book whether she thinks that ugly people are not worthy of being the main character of a book (or the object of sexual desires), and though she might not have meant it that way, it certainly felt like that to me. However I must say that in comparison to other Indonesian literary pieces I've read (and sadly there are not that many on my list), this book has been one of the easiest and most straight forward to read. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read a good quality book, without the fuzz.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ramsey Carroll

    This book was great. This is not an advanced edit, but some parts read like it. I actually believe that with another editor, this book could be a strong contender for some national book awards and wide publication and reading. Would give 5/5 stars, but reserve one for that reason. If you're interested in Southeast Asian literature, this is a must read. A fictional look at the lives of Indonesian Political Exiles, this book takes you to a far more personal understanding of how President Suharto's This book was great. This is not an advanced edit, but some parts read like it. I actually believe that with another editor, this book could be a strong contender for some national book awards and wide publication and reading. Would give 5/5 stars, but reserve one for that reason. If you're interested in Southeast Asian literature, this is a must read. A fictional look at the lives of Indonesian Political Exiles, this book takes you to a far more personal understanding of how President Suharto's regime changed lives, the country and world politics. Moving, fast-paced and funny at times, with any taste for Southeast Asia, you'll likely feel at home in Indonesia too by the end of this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andy Wijaya

    It was taking a quite longer time to finish this book actually. However I was enjoying it page by page. I always love the way Leila telling story how to see things in different perspective, in several point of views, on tragic events that was happening in Indonesia (1965 or 1998). When I read the Lintang’s background and her character in the book, it is not a big surprise that this character is inspired by Mariana Renat Dantec because I was imagining the same person as Laila did. Good work. I am c It was taking a quite longer time to finish this book actually. However I was enjoying it page by page. I always love the way Leila telling story how to see things in different perspective, in several point of views, on tragic events that was happening in Indonesia (1965 or 1998). When I read the Lintang’s background and her character in the book, it is not a big surprise that this character is inspired by Mariana Renat Dantec because I was imagining the same person as Laila did. Good work. I am craving to read story like this, give us some more, Laila.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    When I read a book that is set in a country that I don't know too much about, and it creates in me an impetus to read more, than I feel it has done its job. In this case Indonesia. Home is set in Paris and Jakarta, Indonesia. The story revolves around September 30, 1965 when the army instigated an anti-communist purge that killed between 500,000 and 1 million people. The main character Dimas was one person who was able to escape the purges by going abroad, and eventually settling in Paris. I enj When I read a book that is set in a country that I don't know too much about, and it creates in me an impetus to read more, than I feel it has done its job. In this case Indonesia. Home is set in Paris and Jakarta, Indonesia. The story revolves around September 30, 1965 when the army instigated an anti-communist purge that killed between 500,000 and 1 million people. The main character Dimas was one person who was able to escape the purges by going abroad, and eventually settling in Paris. I enjoyed this story and I really do want to know more of Indonesia's history.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yuli Hasmaliah

    historical story, chronic condition, a puzzle.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anindya

    I have to admit that I was sceptical towards this book. I got this book as a birthday present, and I kept putting off to read this one. Until I was on my annual leave and got some free time, I started reading it. It amazed me. I could not put it down and finished it within couple days. This book looks back to mainly two historical events in Indonesia: 1965's anti-communist purge and 1998's mass violence which also ended the long dark New Order regime. The story was characterised by some Indonesia I have to admit that I was sceptical towards this book. I got this book as a birthday present, and I kept putting off to read this one. Until I was on my annual leave and got some free time, I started reading it. It amazed me. I could not put it down and finished it within couple days. This book looks back to mainly two historical events in Indonesia: 1965's anti-communist purge and 1998's mass violence which also ended the long dark New Order regime. The story was characterised by some Indonesians who were affected by the conflict and had to flee to other country as political refugees. The book is about the daily lives of these exiles, how their 'dark' history affects their relationship with their family and friends, including those left behind in Indonesia. Even though the book is not about ideology, it fascinates me as it depicts how history is 'made' (by the winner, of course) and how it affects our identity. All and all, this book is recommended especially for people who appreciate history as part of ourselves. Lest we forget.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bookshop

    Pro: 1. quick, light, engaging read. I finished it over the weekend. 2. great topic esp read now when PKI is again used as a scapegoat Cons: 1. irrelevant. Might be interesting in 2006 but in 2017? Some of the 'heroes' of the Trisakti events have proven to be jerks. 2. the May riot was an after thought. Kind of unacceptable although when read in he context of 'the dictator never abdicates' makes sense. 3. what is it with Indonesian novel and sex scenes obsessions? I am not prudes (really!) but 3 s Pro: 1. quick, light, engaging read. I finished it over the weekend. 2. great topic esp read now when PKI is again used as a scapegoat Cons: 1. irrelevant. Might be interesting in 2006 but in 2017? Some of the 'heroes' of the Trisakti events have proven to be jerks. 2. the May riot was an after thought. Kind of unacceptable although when read in he context of 'the dictator never abdicates' makes sense. 3. what is it with Indonesian novel and sex scenes obsessions? I am not prudes (really!) but 3 sex scenes in 68 pages? How does that improves the plot?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kirana Ikhsan

    On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ( Le Petit Prince , Antoine de saint - Exupery) Dengan menggunakan hati, kita bisa melihat dengan jernih. Sesuatu yang begitu penting justru tak terlihat kasat mata. Not as i expected before, this novel was so brilliant and i just cant stop reading it. "Seamless realism" Seno Gumira Ajidarma (Indonesian Journalist) said. This novel does not make me feel like i was reading a novel... i was into this story, i took a part i On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ( Le Petit Prince , Antoine de saint - Exupery) Dengan menggunakan hati, kita bisa melihat dengan jernih. Sesuatu yang begitu penting justru tak terlihat kasat mata. Not as i expected before, this novel was so brilliant and i just cant stop reading it. "Seamless realism" Seno Gumira Ajidarma (Indonesian Journalist) said. This novel does not make me feel like i was reading a novel... i was into this story, i took a part in it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zul Azim

    This is one of the best novels in Malay I've ever read, even though I'm not as familiar with Indonesian Malay. Steeped with Indonesian history, this novel sheds a different light on one of Indonesia's darkest history. You know the writer is good when numerous cultural and literature references are used, such as homage to Akira Kurosawa movies, Led Zeppelin, poems from John Keats, and prominent Indonesian works like the Mahabharata. Overall, a highly recommended read. Looking forward to reading mo This is one of the best novels in Malay I've ever read, even though I'm not as familiar with Indonesian Malay. Steeped with Indonesian history, this novel sheds a different light on one of Indonesia's darkest history. You know the writer is good when numerous cultural and literature references are used, such as homage to Akira Kurosawa movies, Led Zeppelin, poems from John Keats, and prominent Indonesian works like the Mahabharata. Overall, a highly recommended read. Looking forward to reading more Indonesian works in the future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mariskova

    Borrowed this novel from a friend and kept postponing to read it. Thought this would be 'heavy.' But, surprisingly, no. The story is sad, bitter, comical, witty, funny, educating mixed together. The cynicism is funny and smart at the same time. It made me laugh. All those references flow naturally. I love the book...until I reached the chapter when Lintang goes to Jakarta. Suddenly the story becomes cheesy romance with unnecessary exaggerated bed scenes. I could just rip the last quarter part of Borrowed this novel from a friend and kept postponing to read it. Thought this would be 'heavy.' But, surprisingly, no. The story is sad, bitter, comical, witty, funny, educating mixed together. The cynicism is funny and smart at the same time. It made me laugh. All those references flow naturally. I love the book...until I reached the chapter when Lintang goes to Jakarta. Suddenly the story becomes cheesy romance with unnecessary exaggerated bed scenes. I could just rip the last quarter part of the book and still find it complete. And more satisfying. I still give the book 4 stars though.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Retno Sari

    I've been searching this book for quite a long time and finally had a chance to read it. Pulang, tidak diragukan lagi akan menjadi salah satu novel dalam negeri favorit saya sepanjang masa. Sarat pengetahuan sejarah, bahasa yang indah, dan emosional. After reading it, I'll never see G30SPKI in the same way again. Politik itu kejam, dan sejarawan yang tidak punya idealisme lebih kejam lagi. I give this book five stars out of five. I've been searching this book for quite a long time and finally had a chance to read it. Pulang, tidak diragukan lagi akan menjadi salah satu novel dalam negeri favorit saya sepanjang masa. Sarat pengetahuan sejarah, bahasa yang indah, dan emosional. After reading it, I'll never see G30SPKI in the same way again. Politik itu kejam, dan sejarawan yang tidak punya idealisme lebih kejam lagi. I give this book five stars out of five.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    "literature is no less important than food, knowledge, and faith as a major sustenance of life" from the acknowledgements section The third and final section packed quite an emotional wallop. It made the entire book worthwhile. If you get bogged down in the first two sections, stay the course. I'm a sucker for novels that help me learn about a culture I have had little exposure to. This one did not disappoint. "literature is no less important than food, knowledge, and faith as a major sustenance of life" from the acknowledgements section The third and final section packed quite an emotional wallop. It made the entire book worthwhile. If you get bogged down in the first two sections, stay the course. I'm a sucker for novels that help me learn about a culture I have had little exposure to. This one did not disappoint.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jhe Setiyadi

    Uncovering the dark-side of the biggest chaotic massacre ever happened on our nations. taking the political-prisoner point of view mixed with the complex love-hate relationship between two person (parent-children, lover, friends) full with emotions, rage, sadness and strong will to uncover the truth behind the September 30th Incident. Historical fiction that mixed up up with emotional story? Surely worth to read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    LiA

    Confusing. Cumbersome style, which might be due to the German translation. Unfortunately I don't read Indonesian. In the German version the voices of all first person narrators sound the same, no matter, whether father or daughter, lover or brother tell the story. A real pity, since the plot is a real good and interesting one. Confusing. Cumbersome style, which might be due to the German translation. Unfortunately I don't read Indonesian. In the German version the voices of all first person narrators sound the same, no matter, whether father or daughter, lover or brother tell the story. A real pity, since the plot is a real good and interesting one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nuha

    A delicious novel and not just because of the mouthwatering descriptions of food. Chudori delves into questions of identity and belonging against the complex background of the 1965 Indonesian Civil Uprising and its consequent histories. Spanning two generations, Chudori weaves an intricate narrative with vital ingredients of love, politics and growth.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gita Putri

    The best part is from this book is Paris days. The character seems quite convincing as persons, despite the Jakarta chapter in the 1998 years are more comic and fit certain stereotypes to fit in the story. But this book is much enjoyable than Amba.

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