Monday, May 15, 2006

The Mute's Soliloquy - Pramoedya Ananta Toer Passes Away

"Is it possible to take from a man his right to speak to himself?" Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia's greatest writer died on April 30th at the age of 81. This courageous writer spent 17 years of his life in prison during Suharto's long oppressive tenure. His great Buru Quartet (This Earth of Mankind, Child of All Nations, Footsteps, House of Glass) was written down years after he originally told the story of Indonesia's independence through the eyes of the Javanese woman Minke to his fellow prisoners night after night in captivity. His autobiography, "The Mute's Soliloquy" was published in English in 1999 and described the suffering in his prison on Buru island. Here's a tribute by Salil Tripathi in the New Statesman and an obit in The Guardian.

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