Hidup Berwarna:
Introductory Readings in Modern Indonesian and Malay Literature

George Quinn

Alon-Alon Publications 1989
A book review by Danny Yee © 1994 http://dannyreviews.com/
Hidup Berwarna is an Indonesian reader aimed at high school students (or those with an equivalent knowledge of the language). It consists of four sections on the themes of "Resistance and Revolution", "Poverty and Wealth", Country and City" and "Women and Men". The core of each section is a pair of short stories, one rewritten within a vocabulary of the 1000 most frequent words in Indonesian, the other within a vocabulary of 1600 words. Each section also contains brief biographies of the authors and an introduction which sets the stories in context. These, together with the general preface to the volume, constitute a succinct introduction to Indonesian and Malaysian society, history and literature. There are exercises at the end of each section, which include excerpts from other stories and poems for comparison and draw out social, literary and linguistic insights. They do not, happily, contain too much in the way of role-playing suggestions and "pretend you are a" composition exercises.

Hidup Berwarna is an enjoyable little book that provides plenty of motivation for students, offering something of the feel of reading real literature without the continual dictionary lookup that students at this level would require with unmodified texts.

February 1994

Related reviews:
- books about the Indonesian language
%T Hidup Berwarna
%S Introductory Readings in Modern Indonesian and Malay Literature
%A Quinn, George
%I Alon-Alon Publications
%D 1989
%O spiral bound
%G ISBN 0731631617
%P iii,110pp