Beauty is a Wound

Beauty is a Wound

3.95 (4,795 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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A colour-drenched epic set in Indonesia, filled with vivid sex and violence, from the Man Booker International Prize longlisted author
'A literary child of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie'New York Review of Books
'A howling masterpiece' Chigoze Obioma, author of The Fisherman
One stormswept afternoon, after twenty-one years of being dead, the beautiful Indonesian prostitute Dewi Ayu rise from her grave to avenge a curse placed on her family. Amidst the orange groves and starfruit trees, her children and grandchildren have been living out lives of violence, incest, murder, madness and heartbreak, They are creatures of breathtaking beauty - all but one of them, whose ugliness in unparalleled. And Beauty is her name.
Set in the mythical Indonesian town of Halimunda, Beauty is a Wound is a bawdy, epic take of fearsome women and weak-willed men, communist ghosts and vengeful spirits. chaste princesses and ruthless bandits. It is also a satirical portrait of Indonesia's painful past, journeying through almost a century of brutality, from Dutch colonialism and Japanese occupation to revolution, independence and dictatorship. Weaving together history with local legend, Eka Kurniawan spins a fantastical masterpiece in which darkness and light dance hand in hand.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 35mm | 392g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1782272437
  • 9781782272434
  • 44,307

Review quote

Exuberant, funny, crackling with energy and invention The Times Annie Tucker's skilful translation captures Kurniawan's matter-of-fact prose and black humour. Elements of the supernatural and oral storytelling combine powerfully to evoke a brutal past and some of the pivotal events that helped shape Indonesia today Financial Times Magical realism to rival that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez Independent An unforgettable, all-encompassing epic... This is an astounding, momentous book Publishers Weekly (starred review) An epic picaresque that's equal parts Canterbury Tales and Mahabharata?exuberantly excessive and captivating. Huge ambition, abundantly realized Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) Kurniawan's story of an undead woman had morphed into the story of modern Indonesia, an epic novel critics are more wont to compare to One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Canterbury Tales Sydney Morning Herald It's an astonishing, polyphonic epic, a melange of satire, grotesquerie, and allegory that incorporates everything from world history to local folk talks Brooklyn Magazine The final wonder of Beauty Is a Wound is how much pure liveliness and joy there is mixed up with the pain, as if the verdancy of the author's imagination was racing to cover a million corpses with fresh green tendrils The Saturday Paper Kurniawan is a brilliant writer, creating fascinating images and characters, spinning wild and magical tales Universe in Words (blog) It felt like a breath of fresh air. It was an enjoyable read and rather amazing The Book Castle (blog) A literary child of Gunter Grass, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Salman Rushdie The New York Review of Books Scatological, scandalous, lively, beautiful and dark and messed up and fantastical. It's like One Hundred Years of Solitude kicked into another gear, with almost a punk sensibility housed within gorgeous writing-and stories coiled within stories within stories. One of the most brilliant things about the novel is how Kurniawan never loses the thread even when spinning so many tales at once -- Jeff VanderMeer A Southeast Asian storyteller with a magnificent and effortless grasp of his material South China Morning Post Original and powerful... Maybe, who knows, the judges of the Nobel Prize could, in a few years, consider giving [Eka] the prize that Indonesia has never received Le Monde
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About Eka Kurniawan

Eka Kurniawan was born in Tasikmalaya, Indonesia in 1975. He studied philosophy at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta and has since published several novels and short stories. The rights to Beauty is a Wound have now been sold in 27 territories. Love and Vengeance will be published by Pushkin Press in 2017.
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Rating details

4,795 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,648)
4 37% (1,792)
3 20% (942)
2 6% (299)
1 2% (114)
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