Footsteps (The Buru Quartet, Book 3)

Overview

As the world moves into the twentieth century, Minke, one of the few European-educated Javanese, optimistically starts a new life in a new town: Betawi. With his enrollment in medical school and the opportunity to meet new people, there is every reason to believe that he can leave behind the tragedies of the past. But Minke can no more escape his past than he can escape his situation as part of an oppressed people under a foreign power. As his world begins to fall apart, Minke draws a small but fervent group ...

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Footsteps

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Overview

As the world moves into the twentieth century, Minke, one of the few European-educated Javanese, optimistically starts a new life in a new town: Betawi. With his enrollment in medical school and the opportunity to meet new people, there is every reason to believe that he can leave behind the tragedies of the past. But Minke can no more escape his past than he can escape his situation as part of an oppressed people under a foreign power. As his world begins to fall apart, Minke draws a small but fervent group around him to fight back against colonial exploitation. During the struggle, Minke finds love, friendship, and betrayal—with tragic consequences. And he goes from wanting to understand his world to wanting to change it. Pramoedya's full literary genius is again evident in the remarkable characters that populate the novel—and in his depiction of a people's painful emergence from colonial domination and the shackles of tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A vibrant portrait of a people coalescing into nationhood, this third volume of a projected tetralogy (the Buru quartet) by Indonesian novelist Pramoedya continues the story begun in Child of All Nations and This Earth of Mankind. The protagonist is again expelled Javanese medical student Minke, who now becomes a journalist, then a grass-roots political organizer and eventually a crusading publisher of the archipelago's first Native-owned daily newspaper. Set in the period 1901 to 1912, this novel measures Minke's dream of a unified, multiethnic Indonesia free of Dutch rule, against the harsh realities of colonial occupation. The picture is bleak: oppression, exploitation, slavery and brutal subjugation of the Netherlands Indies' indigenous people by the Dutch military, working in concert with a local ruling elite. Inspired by the life of Indonesian journalist Tirto Adi Suryo, the story is rich in human drama and history. Minke corresponds with Ter Haar, a roving liberal Dutch journalist; battles his old nemesis, racist terrorist Robert Suurho; and matures emotionally through two dramatic marriages. Lane's introduction will help readers new to these books to plunge into the engrossing narrative. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In the third volume of the "Buro Tetralogy" (e.g., This Earth of Mankind, LJ 9/1/91), Toer continues the story of Minke, an activist in the struggle for native rights in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). He travels to Betawi (now Jakarta) to study medicine but soon realizes that he must fight for an end to the political system of apartheid kept in place by the Dutch government during the early 20th century. The uneven writing style varies between stilted (but heartfelt) expressions of ideology and very moving accounts of Minke's experiences. Toer's books are all banned in Indonesia, and he is under house arrest in Jakarta. Minke's story is a courageous record of colonial repression and unrest. As a novel, however, Footsteps will be most appreciated by those who have read and enjoyed the first two volumes, so libraries should purchase accordingly.-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
From Barnes & Noble
Set in a Dutch East Indies painfully struggling to emerge from the yoke of colonial domination and the shackles of tradition, this third installment in the author's masterwork presents a devastating new chapter in the lives of its characters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140256345
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Series: Buru Quartet Series, #3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 795,362
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, born on the island of Java in 1925, was imprisoned first by the Dutch, then by the Indonesian government as a political prisoner. He received the PEN Freedom to Write Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

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