Red Gerberas: Short Storiesby Sitor Situmorang
Translated by Harry Aveling
Sitor Situmorang (1924–2014) is one of the most celebrated Indonesian literary voices of the twentieth century. Throughout his long life, he traveled extensively, both inside Indonesia and abroad. He claimed that all his work dealt with a single theme—“love and wanderlust,” which are “two aspects of the one and the same experience.” His remarkable short stories are celebrations of modern life, dealing with subjects such as seeking, belonging, identity, masculinity, and sensual interaction with the world at large. The characters are both introspective and physical, the settings sparse but evocative, the circumstances ordinary yet unexpected.
Red Gerberas contains fourteen of these stories, translated by Harry Aveling in response to a request Sitor made of him to render his stories in English. (The rest of Sitor’s stories are now available in a collection titled Oceans of Longing, also published by Silkworm Books.) The translation of his complete short stories into English shares the exceptional creative work of Sitor Situmorang with audiences around the world.
- A collection of fourteen short stories by a major Indonesian author.
- Deals with a wide range of settings—rural and urban Indonesia, Europe, Japan, Australia.
- Provides a sensual exploration of human relationships.
- Tells non-judgmental and balanced stories of individuals searching for love.
About the translator
Harry Aveling (Monash University) is a literary translator and expert on Indonesian/Malay literature.
What others are saying
“Sitor’s stories deal with humanity and its problems. He writes about loneliness, love, loss, travel, alienation. . . . He is a poet and this shows in everything he writes.”—Pamusuk Eneste, preface to the story collection Salju di Paris (Grasimdo, 1994)
“Sitor confronts life from the reality of his senses. There is both passion and subtlety in his polished style.” —Muhammad Haji Saleh, Tradition and Change in Contemporary Malay-Indonesian Poetry (National University of Malaysia Press, 1977)
Sitor Situmorang | Indonesian literature | short stories | travel | masculinity | international modernism