5 Indonesian Novels Which Are Globally Popular

Indonesian writers are such good authors. This world may put William Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Jane Austen, and other famous authors in the top position.

But, we have to bear in mind that most of legendary novel writers from Indonesia have real and amazing talents.

They are so creative that they can build a full story filled with local cultures, ethnicities, moral values, and so many figures of speech which were written by them.

Those components are not only interesting but also encourage us to love Indonesia more. One of the facts of Indonesian poetry and story is that the storyline has a unique plot.

In fact, their novels are now becoming globally popular. Their novels also have been translated into many languages.

Well, are you ready to read about Indonesian novels which are globally popular?

1. Laskar Pelangi

laskar pelangi

This novel was written by an Indonesian popular writer, Andrea Hirata.

What makes this novel such a good novel is you will be motivated as soon as you read this book.

It seems like everybody knows that this novel tells us about Belitong children who want to reach their goals highly.

Moreover, motivational quotes in this novel can be identified as one of the facts about Indonesia literature.

In the story, those Belitong children study at Muhamadiyah Elementary School.

Unfortunately, the school doesn’t even have some proper facilities for their pupils.

However, though they have many obstacles, those kids are such amazing students because they have a very big spirit to make their dreams come true. 

This novel is awfully famous in a lot of countries, such as England, Vietnam, Germany, Spain, China, and so on. That’s why this novel had been an international bestseller novel.

2. Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk

ronggeng dukuh paruk

Maybe you have heard about a film entitled Sang Penari?

One fact you should know, that film was based on Ahmad Tohari’s gorgeous novel, Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk.

This novel is totally unique because it is divided into three segments.

The first segment is “Catatan Buat Emak”, the second segment is “Lintang Kemukus Dini Hari”, and the third segment is “Jantera Bianglala”.

This novel also has a big role in the awakening of history of Indonesian literature.

Ahmad Tohari shows us about a life of a Ronggeng dancer who lives in Dukuh Paruk village.

She has a very beautiful face and an irresistible charm when she starts to dance.

That’s why she is so popular in her village. But on the other side, the social condition in the village is not good and even becomes chaotic.

This novel has been translated into many languages, such as Dutch, German, Japanese, English, and so on.

3. Cantik Itu Luka

cantik itu luka

Cantik Itu Luka was written by Eka Kurniawan. When we see the title, maybe we will think about how unique and meaningful the title is.

The story inside is super unique and has a lot of moral values, too. That’s why this novel became very popular in certain era.

Cantik Itu Luka was the first masterpiece from Eka Kurniawan. Although it was his first novel, Cantik Itu Luka is worth a read.

Because, when you start to read this, you will be amazed by every character and their conflicts told in the story.

This novel tells us about a dark daily life from a prostitute. Actually, she doesn’t want to be one, but she is forced by someone.

What makes her worried so much is their daughters have a beautiful face.

She worries if their daughters will be forced to be a prostitute, too.

Then, she wishes that her fourth daughter will be born with an ugly face and finally, her wish happens.

This novel has been translated into English, Japanese, Dutch, and many more. 

4. Senja di Jakarta

senja di jakarta

What makes this novel unique and different from other “international bestsellers” novels is this novel didn’t use Indonesian language when the author launched Senja di Jakarta for the first time.

Instead, this novel used English and was published in 1963.

Finally, Indonesian citizens could read this novel in their own language in 1970. In 1970, this novel was published in Indonesia.

Amazingly, this novel tells us about the politic situation in the Soekarno era.

With the point of view of a young man named Halim, this novel is completely unique.

Halim is an ordinary young man who wants to support a wealthy party to give him and his company a lot of benefits.

This character teaches us to be more sincere with our own motherland.

This novel has been translated into many languages too, such as English, Japanese, Dutch, Melayu, Korean, Spanish, and Italian.

5. Pada Sebuah Kapal

pada sebuah kapal

Pada Sebuah Kapal is written by NH. Dini, a famous writer in Indonesia. This novel was first released in 1985 and tells us a story about a woman named Sri.

Sri, the main character, really wants to get a pure love from her husband.

But poor her, she gets such love from a married man. This novel has been translated into English and has attracted a lot of readers.

Besides, this novel is a masterpiece which can be seen as one of the main pioneers of brief history Indonesian art.

So, that’s all about Indonesian novels which are globally popular. Well, which one is your favorite?