Eka Kurniawan Indonesia

Eka Kurniawan Portrait Cropped

Eka Kurniawan (Pangandaran, West Java Indonesia, 1975) is a writer who explores Indonesia’s complex recent history through fiction. Kurniawan studied the great Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer, but turned away from social realism and developed his own innovative style. His work has been compared with Gabriel Garcia Marquéz and Haruki Murakami. His first major novel, Beauty Is a Wound (2002), is both a hilarious satire and a family tragedy of epic scope that deals with rarely discussed topics: the physical and sexual violence of Indonesia’s Dutch colonial history, Japanese occupation and dictatorship and genocide under Suharto. His writing combines elements of local folklore traditions, oral histories, magical realism, Indonesian martial arts and horror comics to portray people’s multi-layered experiences. His novels, short stories, essays, movie scripts and graphic novels, break through social barriers, reaching diverse audiences in an entertaining way with local stories that reveal terrible historical truths.

Photo Courtesy Eka Kurniawan