These stories have a dark side. Outsiders and eccentrics are regarded with suspicion, tortured, even killed. The major theme that emerges is of families diminished by conflict; almost a generation of adult males appears to be missing. Their absence is balanced by a number of strong female presences. This also reflects the dominance of women in the Acehnese household.
Azhari is a master of suspense. He wastes no words; his narration is sparse. The overall atmosphere of the stories in Nutmeg Woman is tense and anxious. If there is a message, it is a plea for peace and tolerance and an end to bloodshed and oppression. ***
Issued to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair, 2015/ Published by Heather Curnow & Azhari/ Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2015.
- First edition 2009: Nutmeg Woman, published by Aneuk Mulieng, Banda Aceh.
- First published in Indonesian as: Perempuan Pala (Azhari, Akademi Kebudayaan Yogyakarta-AKY, 2004)
>> opinions, comments, reviews, and related posts: