Launching in 2022
It is 1751, and nine-year-old Wulan finds herself half a world away from her home in Java: torn from her adored grandparents, her chattering cousins, the sounds and smells of the landscape that she loves
She and her father, Parto, are enslaved on a Cape Colony farmstead, with little hope of returning home. In this new world they hold fast to their Javanese identity and beliefs while, through their shared suffering, they forge bonds with the multicultural community whose descendants would come to be known as the Cape Malays.
What They Say
Reactions to the novel.
This is an important novel: it reminds us that history is also made by the activities and stories of 'little' people, those who find it difficult to determine their own destinies.
Journalist & Writer
Mountains More Ancient shines a welcome light on this unilluminated period of Indonesian and Dutch-colonial histories…Isna Marifa's poetic prose and her sympathetic descriptions of the 'little people' who provided the labor for this colonial enterprise, makes for a haunting, unforgettable story.
John H. McGlynn
The Lontar Foundation
Isna Marifa has given life to a slice of the history of colonial oppression in Java and the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. This novel combines thorough research with literary craft, resulting in a meaningful and flowing narrative.
Putu Oka Sukanta
Poet & Novelist
This novel enables me to walk in the footsteps of my Malay forefathers from the ancient world of the Nusantara, as well as my Afro-Malay forebears who crisscrossed this African landscape as enslaved agricultural workers
CO-Editor of Bibliography of Bondage