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>> Friday, April 29, 2011

"Dan ia mengganti kartu identitasnya, sampai peristiwa itu selesai di pengadilan kira-kira dua tahun kemudian. Ia memilih nama: Saman. Tanpa alasan khusus, tiba-tiba saja itu yang terlintas dibenaknya"

(" And he changes his ID card, until that incident was over at court approximately two years later. He choose: Saman. Without any particular reason, the words across his mind")

A friend lend me this book several weeks ago. Within three days, I've finish the books. This book reminds me when I read Siti Nurbaya on junior high school. I was easily draw to this book. The story, the character, plot, diction amaze me. Indeed, I was late. Saman was first published on 1998 but I read it on 2011. However, Isn't something we never read or see before is "new"??

This book told  a story about Saman, a former priest who became an activist after an incident in Lubukrantau. Not only Saman who were told in this novel, there were another characters told here. Laila, a woman who has passion on Sihar, a married man. Shakuntala, a dancer, one of Laila's best friends. Shakuntala lives in New York. And, Yasmin, a smart woman, Laila's best friends who has passion on Saman.

Saman brings a lot of themes; politics, sex, culture, belief/ faith. Ayu Utami mixes these aspects become one marvelous book. No wonder if Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Umar Kayam praise this book. Also, Saman achieve 1st Prize of  Jakarta Art Council Novel Competition (1998) and Prince Claus Awards (2000), an award for which given to people from third world who excel in the field of culture and development.

Critics were given to "Saman", some praise and some are not. Some said that Saman were too bold on exploit sexuality, politics and culture. But on the other side, other said that Saman told everything without pretense. Personally, I can say "Saman" is a great novel. A novel where the story can drag you  into the plot, feel the atmosphere which built by the author, and the readers feel that he/she become part of the story.  Definitely one of epic Indonesian's modern literature. Two thumbs up!!


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