Minke, a Native student in Dutch Java at the end of the 19th century, becomes enmeshed in the affairs of a remarkable Javanese concubine and her exquisitely lovely, Indo daughter. This graceful tale of colonial treachery is deceptively engaging, a story that keeps moving even when nothing much is happening. The praise might be as loud, and the prizes less conspicuous, had the work been written by an earnest young person at Iowa, Irvine, or Edinburgh rather than a revered old political prisoner in Indonesia. But that might be our blessing, brining this sensitive work to us in a form that helps us attend.