•Title: Nutmeg Woman •Author: Azhari •Translator: Heather Curnow •Visual Design: Narto Anjala- Pustaka Sempu •Publisher: Heather Curnow & Azhari (affiliation with INSISTPress) •ISBN: 978-602-0857-08-4 •Edition: 2nd, Sept 2015 •Dimension: 14 x 21 cm; viii + 92 pages •Text Language: English.
These stories have a dark side. Outsiders and eccentrics are regarded with suspicion, tortured, even killed. The major theme that emerges is of families diminished by conflict; almost a generation of adult males appears to be missing. Their absence is balanced by a number of strong female presences. This also reflects the dominance of women in the Acehnese household.
Azhari is a master of suspense. He wastes no words; his narration is sparse. The overall atmosphere of the stories in Nutmeg Woman is tense and anxious. If there is a message, it is a plea for peace and tolerance and an end to bloodshed and oppression. ***
This book was first published in Indonesian as: Perempuan Pala (Azhari, Akademi Kebudayaan Yogyakarta-AKY, 2004). Issued as a limited edition to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2015.