Child of All Nations - Pramoedya Ananta Toer
In Child of All Nations, the reader is immediately swept up by a story that is profoundly feminist, devastatingly anticolonialist—and full of heartbreak, suspense, love, and fury. Pramoedya immerses the reader in a world that is astonishing in its vividness: the cultural whirlpool that was the Dutch East Indies of the 1890s. A story of awakening, it follows Minke, the main character of This Earth of Mankind, as he struggles to overcome the injustice all around him. Pramoedya's full literary genius is evident in the brilliant characters that populate this world: Minke's fragile Mixed-Race wife; a young Chinese revolutionary; an embattled Javanese peasant and his impoverished family; the French painter Jean Marais, to name just a few.
Penguin Books. 1991. 352 pages. Paperback.