Set in Sumatra in the 1950s, Jaipong Dancer is a story of lost innocence and complex moral dilemmas. It follows the journey of Yahyu, a young Javanese dancer, who runs away from a forced marriage and becomes unwittingly involved in the violent struggle for Sumatra’s independence from Jakarta. On her long passage from fame to degradation Yahyu experiences love, hate, sexual slavery and the horror of the rebels’ last bloody battle deep in the Barisan Mountains.
During her short life Yahyu has been a mother, a wife, a murderer and a whore, while struggling to keep her basic belief in right and wrong. Could anyone, particularly her lost husband and child, ever understand and accept her fall from grace?
About the author
Patrick Sweeting works for the United Nations on issues of conflict prevention and recovery and has been living and working in conflict zones in Asia for the past 25 years. He has spent many years in Sumatra, Indonesia, studying behaviour, crime and conflicts and speaks several Sumatran languages. Patrick studied for a PhD in Social Anthropology from The School of Oriental and Africa Studies (SOAS).
Category Fiction / Historical