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Sundanese Publication of 2015

Literature | Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | sundanesecorner.org

Hawé Setiawan

Photograph: Hawe Setiawan

Photograph: Hawe Setiawan

As far as we can note, 25 books in Sundanese were published in 2015. The previous year showed more books, which consisted of 34 titles. Hence, the publication is declining.

In its writing category, the landscape of Sundanese publication of 2015 was the same with the one of previous years, in the sense that it was still dominated by fictions, both prose and poetry. Only three books of nonfiction were published last year, i.e. a collection of essays and a spiritual reflection.

Those who wrote the works were generally well-known. Holisoh M.E. and Usep Romli, for instance, each published two titles. Hadi AKS, Enang Rokajat Asura, and Dian Hendrayana each published a book. From among the writers that previously were unnoticed, there were Andang S. Argayuda, Imam Mudrika, Jejen Jaelani, Muhammad Ridwan Trijana, Toto Sudito, Wahyu Heriyadi, and Rizki Sanjaya. Imam and Andang each published two titles.

The bibliographical landscape not only consisted of new books. Some books were reprinted in order to preserve literary tradition, e.g. Hujan Munggaran “First Rain” by Ayatrohaedi, a collection of short stories that was first published in 1960, and Carita Budak Yatim “A Tale of an Orphan” by R. Hanafiah, a teen literature first published by Balai Pustaka in 1924. There was also Parawan di Jalan Sepi, Bratakusuma’s Sundanese version of classic detective story entitled The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

One of the newly published books that were noteworthy was Nadran “Grave Visitation”, a collection of short stories by the prominent Ahmad Bakri (1917-1988). It was published posthumously. It consisted of seven stories about the everyday life of villagers in the past. The theme were various, from love to lie, from individual attitude to society’s belief. Ahmad Bakri’s style is familiar, rich with dialogue among the characters and realistic description of the setting. His stories are humble, often humorous, with strong plots and thick Ciamis’ dialect.

Another book, which is also noteworthy, was a short stories collection by Holisoh M.E. entitled Mun Tulus jadi Randa “If I Become a Widow”. It contains 16 short stories that also tell about the everyday life of villagers in the past, yet not so past compared to the historical setting of Ahmad Bakri’s. Holisoh’s historical setting was around 1970s. Her characters are ordinary people such as labourers, petty vendors, and schoolteacher.

In the category of teen literature, there were three titles, i.e. Ngala Jangkrik “Cicada Hunting”, a short stories collection by Holisoh M.E., Péngkolan Jalan Cikajang “Cikajang Bend”, also a short stories collection by Usép Romli H.M., and Béntang Hariring “The Singer”, a novel by Dian Héndrayana.

Béntang Hariring, which was issued by Komunitas Rawayan, tells a story about a teenage girl that was good in singing so that she won a singing contest. Her father had passed away, and she had to help her mother in keeping a small kiosk, caring for her younger brother, and consequently she often could not go to her school. Her single parent often could not pay her school tuition. Her talent in singing, however, paved the way for her to reach her dreams. As a winning representative of her school in the contest, she got a grant to complete her study, and even to enhance her study at a favourite school. It is a fine allegory of an achievement raised by a teen that come from a less fortunate family.

As usual in the last few years, the most productive publishing house is Kiblat Buku Utama with nine titles of publication. Geger Sunten, which is actually more experienced in the business, issued only one title. Among recently emerging publishing houses are Tulus Pustaka with five titles and Green Smart Books with two titles. All of them are private enterprise based in Bandung, the capital city of West Java. The provincial government, through its tourism bureau, issued only one title.

We also need to note the contribution of small publishers from outside the city, i.e. Gentramarcapada (Bogor), Kentja Press (Ciamis), Kuningan Media (Kuningan), Langari (Tasikmalaya), and LeutikaPrio (Yogyakarta). Their contributions are commendable. In the era of digital communication, their ability to publish books in Sundanese, which is the mother tongue of the second biggest ethnic group in the country, almost resembles madness stubborn.

The challenge that until now has not faced is finding the way to connect the books to their readers, the Sundanese speaking communities, not least in educational institutions. Voices that propose the availability of Sundanese books in school and public libraries throughout the provinces of West Java and Banten has very often echoed.

Sundanese authors, and those who bother to publish their works as well, are undoubtedly in need of help. Otherwise, book publishing in this local language will possibly continue to decline in years come.***

Sundanese Publication of 2015

Compiled by: Hawé Setiawan

No. Title Author Genre Publisher Note
1 Kiceupna Virtual Wahyu Hériyadi Collection of poems Kéntja Press, Ciamis
2 Cikahuripan: Lalakon Mupusti Hulu Cai Toto Sudito Essay Kuninganmedia, Kuningan Dummy
3 Lalakon nu Ngalalakon Inda Nugraha Hidayat Collection of poems LeutikaPrio, Yogyakarta
4 Ngala Jangkrik Holisoh M.E. Children’s Book Kiblat, Bandung
5 Mangsa Bungur Mangkak Kembangan Djohar Efsa Collection of short stoies Tulus Pustaka, Bandung
6 Niskala Purbajati


Imam Mudrika Nonfiction Geger Sunten, Bandung
7 Tritangtu Imam Mudrika Nonfiction Gentramarcapada, Bogor
8 Surat dina Kalakay Muhammad Ridwan Trijana Poems & Short stories anthology GSB, Bandung
9 Bentang Hariring Dian Hendrayana Children’s Book Rawayan, Bandung
10 Mun Tulus jadi Randa Holisoh M.E. Collection of short stories Kiblat, Bandung
11 Péngkolan Jalan Cikajang Usep Romli H.M. Collection of Short stories (for teenagers) GSB, Bandung


Hayang Panggih jeung Nabi Hidir Usép Romli H.M Collection of short stories Kiblat, Bandung
13 Anjar lawan Raja Bangsat Achmad Rustandi Silat Story/Novel Kiblat, Bandung Reprinted
14 Hujan Munggaran Ayatrohaedi Collection of short stories Kiblat, Bandung Reprinted
15 Nadran Ahmad Bakri Kumpulan carpon Kiblat, Bandung
16 Carita Budak Yatim R. Hanapiah Collection of short stories Kiblat, Bandung Reprinted
17 Parawan di Jalan Sepi A. Conan Doyle/ tarj. Bratakusuma Detective Story Kiblat, Bandung Translation
18 Panggelar Sastra: Kumpulan Naskah Pagelaran Hadi AKS Textbook Kiblat, Bandung
19 Nu Imut di Péngkolan Andang S. Argayuda Tulus Pustaka, Bandung
20 Asmaralara Jéjén Jaélani War Tulus Pustaka, Bandung


Marakayangan Andang S. Argayuda Tulus Pustaka, Bandung
22 Mulung Tanjung


Enang Rokajat Asura Collection of short stories Tulus Pustaka, Bandung
23 Mungkir: Antologi Sajak Sunda Pamass Unpad Rizki Sanjaya (ed.) Poetry anthology Pamass-Unpad
24 Sisindiran: Inventarisasi Sastra Lisan Sunda


Kalsum et. all. (ed.) Poetry Anthology Tourism & Cultural Bureau of West Java
25 Lembur Cahaya: Antologi Fiksimini Fikminer Tasikmalaya Short short stories anthology Langari



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