This is the first book-length study to present the alternative version found in Indonesian literature of the events of 1965-1966, and through this demonstrates that the concerns and perceptions of Indonesian writers differ sharply from those of westerners.
Perhaps we shall never know the truth about Indonesia's failed (supposedly Communist) coup of 1965.
But the consequences were clear: the fall of President Sukarno and rise to power of General Suharto plus violent suppression of all 'Communist' organizations.
In the process, a half million lives were lost. Open discussion of these events was impossible during Suharto's rule except in one area: literature.
Here it was possible to portray the events in fictional form at the human level.
This book analyses Indonesian literature produced during the New Order period dealing with the events of 1965-6 and their consequences.
It examines the political coercion that people were subjected to and how the authors deal with the taboo subject of the killings; it also considers how the Communist Party was seen and discusses the underlying reasons for why the fictional characters act as they do. Crucial here is the influence of Javanese culture and the significance of President Sukarno's political concept of Nasakom.