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Last edited by MARC Bot
September 30, 2020 | History

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

6 February 1925 - 30 April 2006

Pramoedya Ananta Toer was born in Blora, Java, which was part of the Dutch East Indies at the time, the son of a teacher and a rice trader. After he graduated from school, Japanese forces invaded and occupied Indonesia, and Pramoedya worked as a typist for a Japanese newspaper in Jakarta. When World War II ended, Pramoedya joined the war for Indonesian independence, and while he was stationed in Jakarta he began writing fiction as well as propaganda for the Nationalist cause. In 1947 he was captured by the Dutch forces and remained in prison until Indonesia achieved independence in 1949, the year the Netherlands recognized Indonesian independence. He wrote his first major novel, The Fugitive, while in prison.

After the war, Pramoedya continued to write fiction while living in Indonesia and travelling abroad. In the 1950s, he took a literary history teaching position at Universitas Res Publica. His fiction became increasingly more political and critical of the Indonesian government, and he was ultimately arrested by the Indonesian military and imprisoned for nine months.

In 1965 the government of Indonesia fell under a coup and the army took power. Pramoedya, who lead the communist People's Cultural Organisation, was arrested and imprisoned without trial as a political prisoner by the new government. His books were banned, his personal library, including many of his early writings, was burned, and he was forbidden to write in prison. Nevertheless he composed his most famous work, The Buru Quartet, while in the prison camp on the island of Buru, by narrating the novels to his fellow prisoners. Eventually he was able to write them down and get them published abroad. Although they are still banned in Indonesia, The Buru Quartet is considered a classic work of Indonesian fiction.

Pramoedya was released from prison in 1979, but remained under house arrest in Jakarta until 1992. He continued to write fiction, biographies, and editorials criticizing the Indonesian government. He died at the age of 81 from complications of diabetes and heart disease.

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September 30, 2020 Edited by MARC Bot add ISNI
March 31, 2017 Edited by MARC Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
April 12, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added photos to author pages.
December 13, 2008 Edited by Sarah Breau Added to birth date, added to death date, added wikipedia link, added bio, added photo
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import