Footsteps

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Author, Max Lane, Translator William Morrow & Company $23 (474p) ISBN 978-0-688-13748-9
A vibrant portrait of a people coalescing into nationhood, this third volume of a projected tetralogy (the Buru quartet) by Indonesian novelist Pramoedya continues the story begun in Child of All Nations and This Earth of Mankind. The protagonist is again expelled Javanese medical student Minke, who now becomes a journalist, then a grass-roots political organizer and eventually a crusading publisher of the archipelago's first Native-owned daily newspaper. Set in the period 1901 to 1912, this novel measures Minke's dream of a unified, multiethnic Indonesia free of Dutch rule, against the harsh realities of colonial occupation. The picture is bleak: oppression, exploitation, slavery and brutal subjugation of the Netherlands Indies' indigenous people by the Dutch military, working in concert with a local ruling elite. Inspired by the life of Indonesian journalist Tirto Adi Suryo, the story is rich in human drama and history. Minke corresponds with Ter Haar, a roving liberal Dutch journalist; battles his old nemesis, racist terrorist Robert Suurho; and matures emotionally through two dramatic marriages. Lane's introduction will help readers new to these books to plunge into the engrossing narrative. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1994
Release date: 12/01/1994
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-14-025634-5
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