Man Tiger (Lelaki Harimau)
Eka Kurniawan, trans Labodalih Sembiring
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Verso; Translation edition (September 15, 2015)
A wry, affecting tale set in a small town on the Indonesian coast, Man Tiger tells the story of two interlinked and tormented families and of Margio, a young man ordinary in all particulars except that he conceals within himself a supernatural female white tiger. The inequities and betrayals of family life coalesce around and torment this magical being. An explosive act of violence follows, and its mysterious cause is unraveled as events progress toward a heartbreaking revelation.
Lyrical and bawdy, experimental and political, this extraordinary novel announces the arrival of a powerful new voice on the global literary stage.
A longlist nominee for the Man Booker International Prize.
About the Author and Translator
Author Eka Kurniawan was born in Tasikmalaya, Indonesia in 1975. He studied philosophy at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta. He has published several novels, including Beauty Is a Wound and Man Tiger, as well as short stories. His novels have been published in a number of languages, including English.
Labodalih Sembiring (translator) is a freelance features reporter for English-language publications, a writer of fiction in English and Indonesian, an amateur photographer, and a landscape designer.
“Against the killings of those years and the collective amnesia used to blank out the fate of [Indonesia’s] victims—a kind of second death, as it were—Kurniawan’s fiction summons its legions of ghosts. Against the strongmen who presided over violence and abuse, it raises the dead Dewi Ayu and brings to life a magic tigress hungry for justice.”
--Siddhartha Deb, New Republic
“Tight, focused and thrilling. Like a good crime novel, Man Tiger works best when read in a single sitting, and its propulsive suspense is all the more remarkable because Kurniawan reveals both victim and murderer in the first sentence.”
--Jon Fasman, New York Times Book Review
“Without a doubt the most original, imaginatively profound, and elegant writer of fiction in Indonesia today: its brightest and most unexpected meteorite.”
“The world Kurniawan invents is familiar and unexpected, incorporating mystery, magical realism, and folklore … Biting and beautiful … This wild and enthralling novel manages to entertain while offering readers insight into the traditions of a little-known South East Asian culture. Kurniawan has officially put the West on notice.
“What good fortune that English-speaking readers may now find ourselves enchanted, confronted, and perhaps transformed by Kurniawan’s work.”
“[Kurniawan] seems destined to join the ranks of our great storytellers like Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez.”