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Women and Malay Voices

Undercurrent Murmurings in Indonesia’s Colonial Past


Tineke Hellwig

Women and Malay Voices examines Malay literature by Chinese peranakan authors in the Dutch East Indies between 1915 and 1940. The narratives, some of them based on sensational murder trials reported in the news, offer insights into women’s lives and experiences and glimpses of female agency. With its primary focus on Malay texts and Asian women, this book offers a unique opportunity to hear subaltern voices and understand the lives of colonized women in new ways. Using feminist and postcolonial theories, this study juxtaposes the Malay texts with Dutch fiction and newspaper accounts to gain insight into how gender, race, and class are represented and what ideologies marked power relations in Dutch East Indies society.


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List of Illustrations ix


Illustrations Photo of Gramser Brinkman 22 Photo of Johan Emil Söffing 23 Map of Sentiong Chinese Graveyard 30 Photo of Fientje de Feniks 37 Photo of Aisah 38 Obituary A.M. Hoogeveen 65 Obituary A.M. Hoogeveen 66 Advertisement of auction of A. Holst’s furnishings 67 Portrait of Jan Pietserszoon Coen 77 Portrait of Eva Ment 78 Portrait of Jacques Specx 89 Photo of Eduard Julius Kerkhoven 107 Photo of Goey La Nio 109 Family Tree of Eduard Julius Kerkhoven 111 Photo of Eduard Sukarma and his wife 112 Photo of Mimi Sukarsih 113 Advertisement of Hermine Tan’s adoption 131 Photo of Hermine Tan, Tan Tjeng Hoe, Vicky 132 Photo of Hermine Tan, Vicky, Maud 133 List of Illustrations x Photo of Verduyn Lunel family (c. 1922) 134 Photo of Verduyn Lunel family (c. 1929) 135 Hermine Tan’s handwriting 146

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