Metropoli d'Asia

News & Events


Read the news


Read the news


Read the news



Ayu Utami
Le donne di Saman

ISBN 9788896317099
Pages 224
Euro 14,50

Set in the 1990s and published in 1998, just a few weeks before Suharto’s dictatorship was overthrown, Saman is a novel with several voices and with several narrative “threads” that converge. Laila, a thirty-year-old writer and photographer, witnesses a tragic accident caused by the negligence of the supervisors on an oilrig and embarks, together with Sahir, the man she loves and an oilrig worker – on her battle against the social, political, economic and human injustices of which there is no shortage  in Suharto’s Indonesia; the battle brings her into contact with Saman, a former priest and fascinating man who went from the seminary to prison in his constant fight against oppression and for the rights of the weakest. Alongside these battles, Laila and the other voices of the novel – Cok, an executive woman; Shakuntale, a ballerina and Yasmine, a lawyer – face the question of their self-realization as women, at the dawn of feminism which so far has been absent from the traditions and conventions of their country.  

Ayu Utami answers to Antonia Soriente about her book "Saman".





Ayu Utami

Ayu Utami was born in Bogor, in Indonesia in 1968 and grew up in Jakarta, where she took an Arts degree. When she was a girl, after winning a beauty contest, she refused a career as a model, preferring to study and work in culture. A founding member of the Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists, a militant against the censorship of information, Ayu Utami currently works for several cultural reviews and magazines. She has written novels and short stories. Saman, her first novel, was...