I was actually planning to read Pulang (Home) by Leila S. Chudori. The book is set on Indonesia's students revolution back in 1960s. I admit, I didn't know much about Indonesia's history, mostly because good and informative history books are few and unexciting. I was unable to read it, however. And Historical Fiction has never been my stronger forte, I prefer contemporary.
What is actually Historical Fiction?
Well, basically it's a literacy genre where fiction and historical events are mixed. Dictionary.com states that Historical Fiction is,
the genre of literature, film, etc., comprising narratives that take placein the past and are characterized chiefly by an imaginativereconstruction of historical events and personages.
While reading some articles about literacy on The Guardian, I stumbled across an article, which is basically a recommendation for Indonesian hisfic novels. I was curious as to what books The Guardian said are good. They're already translated to English, so you can try them in English. Here's the list:
1. This Earth of Mandkind (Bumi Manusia) by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
The first on the Tetralogi Buru, the setting is Indonesia's colonial time. It's a romance series, apparently. The English version was published by Penguin Books in 1996, Indonesian first publication was published in 1975. And it was recently being played on a theatre play.
2. The Rainbow Troops (Laskar Pelangi) by Andrea Hirata
I read it when I was still in middle school. I was literally limited, so I thought the book was a bit boring. When I was a freshman in college, I read it again and it was one of the best books I've read. Though the historical aspects are less detailed than other books, The Rainbow Troops was a good book about reaching for your dreams and beating the odds against you. It's the first book of a tetralogy, and actually an autobiography of Andrea Hirata himself.
3. Tiger! (Harimau! Harimau!) by Mochtar Lubis
This one was recommended by my dad. He loves to read (though he's too busy these days to even read newspapers). He has an old edition of this book, around 1980s. The story is about villagers and and tiger hunting (?). Though the history sides of this book isn't well told (according to my dad), it's still has the historical sense and background. The English version was published on 1991.
You want to start with another Indonesian books?
Go to Barnes & Nobles here, and pick them up!