There is something about Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s writing that does not let you forget about it. I got a taste of it reading his book of poetry, Sergius Seeks Bacchus, but after this book, I’m even more of a fan.
What all the stories have in common is the search for acceptance, especially of one’s sexual orientation. It is worth pointing out that while Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, Pasaribu is Batak – Batak people are predominantly Christian. This mix of Christian morality, Indonesian history, tradition and modernity soaked in pop culture and wrapped in beautiful language (this is certainly thanks to the translator Tiffany Tsao) will surely make me come back to some stories.
I would recommend this book to everyone – here you will find texts that are realistic, those embedded in folklore, as well as those with elements of science-fiction. And as a bonus, I will add that all the stories are connected in some way – which may be an additional enouragement for some to start their adventure with Indonesian literature.