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Nukila Amal
Cala Ibi - Hummingbird

ISBN 9788896317167
Pages 285
Euro 14,50

The seemingly perfect life of Jakarta urbanite Maya begins to crumble when she mysteriously meets in her dreams another woman named Maia, her doppelganger, who lives in Ternate, the farthest of the North Moluccan islands. In her dreams Maya embarks on a journey to the remote island with a dragon, Cala Ibi, who imparts wisdom to her. These dreams gradually bring Maya to a quest for identity and the realization that her life has been a struggle to conform to the social and familial values and norms imposed on her. In the end, Maya decided to write about Maia, who writes about Maya, the two stories enfolding back onto themselves. The author not only draws on her Muslim background, presenting the universe as signs and words of God, but also, in a paradoxical twist, on Zen Buddhism, which with she has been deeply fascinated for some years. The novel is about duality,” she says. "It juxtaposes contrasting worlds: dream and reality, centre and periphery, masculine and feminine, logic and intuition. But it isn't only about extreme polarity. I also want to show there is a middle zone, a grey area.”

“This book is great. It talks about words, languages, and what they mean. The story, the characters, and the words talk to each other. they're one. Its' so philosophical, imaginative, smart, and funny. It's amazing.” 

(A reader,




Nukila Amal

Nukila Amal was born in Ternate, North Maluku, in 1971. Reading books was encouraged in her family, and she credits some of her writing genes to her father, a judge who wrote law articles and later became a historian who wrote books on the history of North Maluku. She studied at the Bandung Tourism College, and worked in the hotel and financial sectors before taking up writing in 1997. Her favorite authors include James Joyce, Pirandello, and Umberto Eco. Her novel Cala Ibi ("hummingbird" in...