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January 2009

Tropical Currents: Writing by Indonesian Women

The Century Carver
By Oka Rusmini
Kopag dropped his sharp chiseling knife, almost slicing open his own leg—and all because he’d detected a strange smell coming from the direction of the door, an aroma of dry leaves and damp wood.…
Translated from Indonesian by Pamela Allen
Road to Heaven
By Abidah El Khalieqy
When my mother died, her face changed. I was the first to notice. When other family members and friends came to pay their respects, what I saw in their eyes was doubt; none could believe that the deceased…
Translated from Indonesian by John H. McGlynn
The Rooms Out Back
By Nenden Lilis A.
My husband and I always rise at 7:30 when the shadow of the cat crossing the tiled roof of our neighbor’s house forms a silhouette on our bedroom curtain. Who can figure out why that cat, without…
Translated from Indonesian by John H. McGlynn
Cik Giok
By Reda Gaudiamo
Don’t forget to send the ticket for Cik Giok so that she can come to Jakarta. Don’t forget to buy something for Cik Giok to wear . . .It was the planning meeting for my wedding. Why was Papa…
Translated from Indonesian by John H. McGlynn
Maybe Not Yem
By Etik Juwita
“Can you believe it? One of my friends threw her boss’s baby into a washing machine, just before going back to her village,” the woman beside me said in a flat voice. I turned my gaze…
Translated from Indonesian by Andy Fuller