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Saman is a story filtered through the lives of its feisty female protagonists and the enigmatic “hero” Saman It is at o­nce an exposé of the oppression of plantation workers in South Sumatra a lyrical uest to understand the place of religion and spirituality in contemporary lives a playful exploration of female sexuality and a story about love in all its guises while touching o­n all of Indon 25 stars rounded up Episodes told from alternating and interconnected narratives beginning with four girls who ve remained friends from girlhood to portray the politicization and radicalization of the eponymous Catholic priestI d been convinced I would give Saman a 4 star rating until I reached the last section with Jasmin ans Samn That s the point where my rating dropped to 25 stars The first 80% of the novel however was fascinating

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Saman AUTHOR Ayu Utami

Indonesia She worked as a journalist for Matra Forum Keadilan and DR Not long after the New Order regime closed Tempo Editor and Detik she participated in the founding of Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists to protest the closure of those three weeklys Currently she is working for the cultural journal Kalam and at Teater Utan Kayu Saman was awarded the Prince Claus Award in the year 20 Read this as part of my book club assignment Did not like the book enough to write a serious review

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Esia’s taboos extramarital sex political repression and the relationship between Christians and MuslimsSaman has taken the Indonesian literary world by storm and sold over 100000 copies in the Indonesian language and is now available for the first time in EnglishABOUT THE AUTHORAyu Utami was born in Bogor grew up in Jakarta and obtained her bachelor degree in Literature Studies from University of Since I read an article about the author Ayu Utami a few years back I have wanted to read one of her books for a long time already She struck me as a very brave and forward thinking female author in a country dominated by patriarchy Earlier this year I finally managed to buy a copy of Saman even in its original language Yay Further it was the perfect length for me just over 200 pages Well what can I say now I think I understand why this book mostly got average ratings It started off really good We meet Laila a photographer who is assigned to take promotional marketing photos for an oil drilling company On site she falls in love with Sihar Situmorang a Batak engineer with a strong personality and penchant for justice They witness a cruel accident and grow close to each other during the legal process However he is married and Laila much younger than him During the legal process we meet Saman and then suddenly the next 34 of the book focuses on him We get a ghost story and we get another social justice issue rubber farmers who are harassed by a palm oil company that wants to take away their land Saman who has taken his vows in a parish is completely obsessed by their troubles Things get worse and Saman s path crosses again with the four women whom the author supposedly focused on Laila Cok Yasmin and Shakuntala We never get a proper ending for Laila which bothers me a lot I wanted to know what happened to her and Sihar Her story didn t fit at all with the second half of the book and Saman I don t recall hearing Cok s voice There are chapters narrated by Shakuntala but I thought they were redundant It was just her ranting about Laila s devotion to Sihar and how the friendship formed between the four women Yasmin suddenly emerges towards the end of the book and took on an important role but I didn t manage to warm up to her because the story was about something else before she even entered So all in all the story is all over the place Maybe I should read the next book so I can get some answers to my uestions Or will I just get confused What also annoyed me a lot are the many typos and errors in spelling This book is like a mishmash of an Indonesian Sex in the City with a ghost story and several serious social justice issues oil mining palm oil company freedom of press thrown in


10 thoughts on “Saman AUTHOR Ayu Utami

  1. says:

    The story of an Indonesian activist told by a young female Javanese expat living in NYC and working for a human rights NGO The writing is evocative even sensual at times and despite some rough edges it manages to paint a very convincing and fairly tragic picture of poor rural Indonesian communities being exploi

  2. says:

    Saman is the story of how a Catholic priest in the world’s most populous Muslim country Indonesia becomes a human rights activist called Saman Author journalist Ayu Utami turns the familiar tale of the crusader for justice on its head by folding Saman's story into that of a group of young women who knew him when they were school girls and he a newly ordained priestLaila is the good girl who always falls for

  3. says:

    25 stars rounded up Episodes told from alternating and interconnected narratives beginning with four girls who've remained friends from girlhood to portray the politicization and radicalization of the eponymous Catholic priestI'd been convinced I would give Saman a 4 star rating until I reached the last section with Jasmin ans Samn

  4. says:

    Since I read an article about the author Ayu Utami a few years back I have wanted to read one of her books for a long time already She struck me as a very brave and forward thinking female author in a country dominated by p

  5. says:

    The first book by an indonesian writer I have ever readI have to admit that I'm still a bit puzzled about the me

  6. says:

    Feminism RocksPolitics SucksLove is something personal

  7. says:

    Read this as part of my book club assignment Did not like the book enough to write a serious review

  8. says:

    ❝Saman I have aloerotism I have sex with my husband but it’s you I am imagining He’s been asking why I so often want the lights out It’s because I’m imagining your face your bodyYasmin I am jealous You are having sex I’m n

  9. says:

    Some translations can feel blocky and stagnant The translation of Saman retains a flowing poetic feel to it throughout the book The novel is an intriguing narrative with complex characters and deep backgrounds The Indonesian

  10. says:

    3 stars for the first 100 pages; 1 star for most everything after thatThere are basically two different stories going on in this book The first story is centered around Saman a Catholic priest turned plantation worker rights activist I really enjoyed his storyline and wish Utami had developed it even further In this portion of the book Utami highlights conditions in “transmigration” communities and the heavy hand of oil rubber