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Saman is a story filtered through the lives of its feisty female protagonists and the enigmatic "hero" Saman. It is at once an expose of the oppression of plantation workers in South Sumatra, a lyrical quest to understand the place of religion and spirituality in contemporary lives, a playful exploration of female sexuality and a story about love in all its guises, while touching on all of Indonesia's taboos: extramarital sex, political repression and the relationship between Christians and Muslims. Saman has taken the Indonesian literary world by storm and sold over 100,000 copies in the Indonesian language, and is now available for the first time in English. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ayu Utami was born in Bogor, grew up in Jakarta and obtained her bachelor degree in Literature Studies from University of Indonesia. She worked as a journalist for Matra, Forum Keadilan, and D&R. Not long after the New Order regime closed Tempo, Editor, and Detik, she participated in the founding of Indonesia's Alliance of Independent Journalists to protest the closure of those three weeklys. Currently she is working for the cultural journal Kalam, and at Teater Utan Kayu. Saman was awarded the Prince Claus Award in the year 2000.