SAMAN is a story filtered through the lives of its feisty female protagonists and the enigmatic “hero” Saman. It is at once an exposé of the oppression of plantation workers in South Sumatra as well as a lyrical quest to understand the place of religion and spirituality in contemporary lives. It is a playful exploration of female sexuality and a story about love in all its guises while touching on all of Indonesia’s taboos. Saman has taken the Indonesian literary world by storm and sold over 100000 copies in the Indonesian language and has been translated into nine languages.
Ayu Utami is an award-winning Indonesian writer, who was the 2000 Prince Claus Award Laureate. Her works are considered to have broadened the horizons of Indonesian literature. During Indonesia’s military regime she was a journalist and press freedom activist. She was one of the founders of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, an organization that was latter banned by the regime. After the political change, she focused on writing novels. Her stories always reflect Indonesian society and the country’s political situation.