Beauty Is A Wound

Beauty Is A Wound

Book - 2015
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The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan's gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as 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 of perhaps a million "Communists," followed by three decades of Suharto's despotic rule. Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years.... Drawing on local sources--folk tales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope--and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan's distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature.
Publisher: New York : New Directions, c2015
ISBN: 9780811223638
0811223639
Branch Call Number: FIC Kurn
Characteristics: 470 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Tucker, Annie

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SiempreSara
Feb 27, 2016

It took a while to get used to the style. Earthy magical realism - a lot of rape and incest dealt related casually and almost humorously. I watched the documentary The Look of Silence, about mass killings of alleged Communists in Indonesia in the 70s, at the same time as I was reading this and I detected some similarities in the kind of black comedy. It made more sense as I thought of the stories as closer to folktales than any kind of realism (which should have been obvious from the beginning). This would be good for people who like learning about other cultures by entering into a different style of storytelling.

j
jr3083
Jan 28, 2016

Absolutely brilliant! Shades of 'Hundred Years of Solitude' overlaid with Indonesian history.

multcolib_darceem Nov 03, 2015

The brutal history of Indonesia is played out through the story of a revered prostitute risen from the dead and her four daughters. This is a wonderful, bawdy, violent but magical read filled with fantastic characters & mythology. I Loved it!

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