All That Is Gone: Stories by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, translated by Willem Samuels
Lyrical collection of semi-autobiographical short stories by one of Asia’s most famous authors. The title story is a heartbreaking memory piece of a boy’s first years that captures through young, trusting eyes the loss of his beloved caretaker, his parents’ troubled marriage, and his dissolving family ties. The most disturbing of all is possibly the story, “Inem,” about an 8-year-old child-servant who is sold by her desperately poor parents to marry a brutal 17-year-old boy. One year later, as a 9-year-old divorcée trying to escape her horrifyingly abusive existence, she is no longer allowed back in the narrator’s home as a servant because of so-called propriety.