Book talk: Maya Sutedja-Liem (from left) reads Schoonheid is een
Vloek as the book’s author, Eka Kurniawan, along with writers Joss
Wibisono and Barney Agerbeek listen during the Tong Fair in Amsterdam.Fourteen years after Eka Kurniawan’s debut novel first came out, it was finally translated in the Netherlands. This was puzzling, as the author had expected the Dutch to be the first ones to discover his book.“Violence, cruelty, misogyny, mass killings — not easy ingredients for a writer who wants to tread lightly and bring to life some 40 years worth of history. It’s a small literary miracle that Eka Kurniawan succeeded in doing this,” said the glowing review of Eka’s book Cantik itu Luka (Beauty is a Wound) in the prominent Dutch daily, the Volkskrant.
Another main national daily, Trouw, dubbed the book a “phenomenal family saga and a critical comment on histo...