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Indonesia 2017 Books

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This Earth of Mankind, Buru Quartet Book 1
Pramoedya Ananta Toer, tr Max Lane, 1980

Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1996)
Series: Buru Quartet (Book 1)
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0140256350
ISBN-13: 978-0140256352

The Buru Quartet is a literary tetralogy written by Indonesian Pramoedya Ananta Toer and composed of the novels This Earth of Mankind, Child of All Nations, Footsteps, and House of Glass, and published between 1980 and 1988.

Pramoedya a writer of staggering depth and power and is also one of his country's most suppressed dissidents. All his work is banned in his native Indonesia; students have been sentenced to eight years in prison on charges stemming from an arrest for selling his books.

This Earth of Mankind, the first book in the quartet was composed orally on Buru Island during the first half of the author's fourteen-year imprisonment without trial. Writing or reading anything but religious texts was strictly forbidden. Pramoedya would tell each installment to the people with whom he shared his imprisonment.

Summary: This Earth of Mankind is set at the end of the Dutch colonial rule and was written while Pramoedya was imprisoned on the political island prison of Buru in eastern Indonesia. The story was first narrated verbally to Pramoedya's fellow prisoners in 1973 because he did not get permission to write. The story spread through all the inmates until 1975 when Pramoedya was finally granted permission to write the detailed story.