Title: Beauty is a Wound
Author: Eka Kurniawan, Annie Tucker (translator)
Published: 2002
Language: English (translated from Indonesian)
Pages: 470
Rating: 5/5

This is an epic tale of history, family, tragedy, humor centered around the beautiful prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters.

Having read Man Tiger by Kurniawan earlier this year and thoroughly enjoying it, I got this and had my hopes up for another great read. And it was! This book was fantastic and completely my cup of tea.

The best way I can think of describing this like an intricate spiderweb. You start off the story in one place and sometimes the story takes you elsewhere with different characters, but the strings always lead back to the centre, and it's all rather epic.

The characters are fascinating and all of them feel real. There wasn't a single storyline I wasn't interested in, they all pulled me in. There's a fair amount of magical realism that appears here and there is the story, but it all feels like a completely natural thing.

There's also quite a bit of history in this and it spans over a decade, starting while Indonesia was a Dutch colony. There is quite a lot of turmoil and because of that also a lot violence and rape, which is written of in a very matter-of-fact way and feels realistic. It might be a bit much if one is sensitive to those things though, but I wasn't that bothered by it.

This is quite different from anything I've read in a while and it felt like breath of fresh air. It was an enjoyable read and rather amazing. I would highly recommend this is you enjoy historical fiction and magical realism.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads


  1. so glad to read your review! its been sitting on my shelf for about a month. now i really want to put it on the top of my list


© The Book Castle | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig