The Anatomy of Travel: Selected Stories Gerson Poyk
- About the Book
One of the distinctive features of Indonesian literature has always been local color—that is, the smells, music, vegetation, landscapes, dwellings, speech, weather and other elements of a particular place that can evoke nostalgia in one who is far away from home. One Indonesian author particularly skilled at portraying local color in his work is the late Gerson Poyk, who hailed from the province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
In the stories found in The Anatomy of Travel, the distinctiveness of Gerson Poyk’s writing can be seen in the way he portrays regional or rural color. This color is found in the themes of his stories, in the characteristics of the protagonists, the names of the characters, the settings where the stories take place, and the plots of his stories, which are simple and straightforward. The nineteen short stories in this collection can be grouped into several different thematic issues: spiritual and social issues of rural society; the difficulties experienced by those living in urban societies; and social intercourse with foreigners. Through this collection of short stories, now rendered in English, the reader truly travels and is able to taste and smell the colors of the author’s world.
- Gerson Poyk is a poet, writer and journalist. He began his career as a journalist for Sinar Harapan newspaper in Jakarta (1962–1970). He participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in the United States. He published five short story collections: “Oleng-kemoleng & Surat-Surat Cinta Aleksander Rajaguguk” (1974), “Matias Akankari” (1975), “Nostalgia Nusatenggara” (1976), “Jerat” (1978) and “Di Bawah Matahari Bali” (1982). His poetry collection is Anak Karang (1985), and his novels are Hari-Hari Pertama (1968), Sang Guru (1971), Cumbuan Sabana (1979), Giring-Giring (1982), Seutas Benang Cinta (1982), Requiem untuk Seorang Perempuan (1983), Doa Perkabungan (1987), Impian Nyoman Sulastri dan Hanibal (1988) and Poti Wolo (1988). His short story “Mutiara di Tengah Sawah” received an award from Sastra magazine in 1961, and his story “Oleng-kemoleng” received commendation from Horison magazine in 1968. Gerson won the Adinegoro Award in 1985 and 1986, and in 1989 he received the SEA Write Award.