Beauty Is a Wound
Beauty Is a Wound
A Novel
Eka Kurniawan

Translated by Annie Tucker

Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books

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.

Title Beauty Is a Wound
Subtitle A Novel
Author Eka Kurniawan
Translated by Annie Tucker
Publisher New Directions
Title First Published 08 September 2015
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 384 p.
ISBN-10 0811223639
ISBN-13 9780811223638
Publication Date 08 September 2015
Main content page count 384
Weight 16 oz.

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