Born in Ngawi, East Java, in 1932, Umar Kayam obtained his masters degree from New York University and his doctoral degree from Cornell University. It was there, in New York, where he began to hone his literary skills. The publication of his first collection of short stories, A Thousand Fireflies in Manhattan, in 1972, gained him national fame as a short story writer. The light and semi-ironic tone of Kayam's "New York stories," in which the author viewed an archetypal cast of New York characters through the lens of a nai ve Indonesian outsider vanished completely in the next phase of the author's career when he dealt with the impact of the incarceration and killings of hundreds of thousands of Communists or alleged Communists that took place after the rise of Soeharto's militaristic regime. Kayam's highly nuanced portraits of the innocent victims of "1965" again earned him critical acclaim. Kayam was a regular contributor to the literary column of "Kompas," the nation's largest newspaper, and during the third and final stage of the author's literary career, it became an almost annual event for him to contribute a story about Lebaran, the holiday that marks the end of the Muslim month of fasting, a time when millions of Indonesians who have moved from the communities where they were born attempt against numerous odds to return home. The stories produced by Kayam during the three stages of his literary career vary greatly in subject matter and tone. What binds them together is that in each and every one, one hears is the voice of the common man.
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ADAPTED INTO A FEATURE FILM WITH TOM HANKS From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11 'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving... A heartbreaker' Spectator 'The most incredible fictional nine-year-old ever created... a funny, heart-rending portrayal of a child coping with disaster. It will have you biting back the tears' Glamour 'Pulsates with dazzling ideas' Times Literary Supplement 'It's a miracle... So impeccably imagined, so courageously executed, so everlastingly moving' Baltimore Sun 'Jonathan Safran Foer is a writer of considerable brilliance' Observer In a vase in a closet, a couple of years after his father died in 9/11, nine-year-old Oskar discovers a key... The key belonged to his father, he's sure of that. But which of New York's 162 million locks does it open? So begins a quest that takes Oskar - inventor, letter-writer and amateur detective - across New York's five boroughs and into the jumbled lives of friends, relatives and complete strangers. He gets heavy boots, he gives himself little bruises and he inches ever nearer to the heart of a family mystery that stretches back fifty years. But will it take him any closer to, or even further from, his lost father?
It’s that nothing age—too young to actually do anything but old enough to want to do everything. So, we wait, always chasing tomorrow. But sometimes, there is no tomorrow. That realization hit me hard, a real epiphany. I knew I had to do something to make it all worthwhile, and not just for myself. But also for her.