‘One reason I disliked my brother was because he was responsible for me losing my virginity, which happened when he got me kicked out of my own home – even if only indirectly.’
Jakarta teenager Ricky Satria overhears his parents discussing how they would send him to live in a pesantren, an Islamic boarding school, to cure his spoilt nature and free up a bedroom for his elder brother. Ricky is insulted to be called spoilt and decides there and then to enrol himself in a pesantren, both to challenge his parents’ perception of him and to pre-empt his eviction.
In this coming-of-age novel, four Indonesian students seek to discover what their future will bring and look for answers to their questions about sexuality, religion and drugs. With characters ranging from cross-dressing hairdressers, drag queens and rent boys to fanatic Muslims and low-life security personnel, the action of this tragicomedy moves between an Islamic boarding school and a gay bar in Jakarta, and in so doing illuminates the mindset and yearnings of a new generation of Indonesians.
About the author
Nuril Basri was born in a village in Tangerang in western Java, now in the province of Banten, in 1985. A graduate of the Islamic State University in Jakarta (Universitas Islam Negeri – Jakarta), Nuril has worked in a variety of positions over the years: internet café manager, secretary to a police attaché, private language tutor, mini-market cashier, and waiter on a cruise ship. His previously published works include: Halo, Aku Dalam Novel (Jakarta: GagasMedia, 2009); Romantis (Kuala Lumpur: Buku Fixi, 2015) which was published in Indonesia under the title My Favorite Goodbye (Jakarta: GagasMedia, 2015); Enak (Kuala Lumpur: Buku Fixi, 2016); and an earlier version of Not a Virgin, published under the title Dosa (Kuala Lumpur: Buku Fixi, 2012). Additionally, Nuril has authored three short comedic works – Bagai Jablay Kena Kamtib (2007), Banci Kalap (2008), Masuka Masukin Aja (2008) – and one horror tale, Terowongan Rumah Sakit (2008), all published by GagasMedia of Jakarta.
Series Contemporary Indonesian Classics