More than anywhere else, I read Beauty is a Wound on South London trains. When I think about it, that’s probably about as far from Halimunda, Kurniawan’s imaginary Javanese port city, as you can get. There weren’t many prostitutes rising from the dead on my daily commute. Trains were always late, but I didn’t notice the involvement of any vengeful spirits. And perhaps most strikingly, when compared with Halimunda, no one seemed to be trying to have sex with anyone(/-thing) else. Somehow both macabre and invigorating, dark and cheering, this wacky tale spanning almost a century of modern Indonesian history actually made me look forward to Monday mornings.
Set in Java, Indonesia over the course of the 20th century.
Recommended by @lewisalloyd.
Buy the book here.