Sylvia Tiwon, Associate Professor, University of California at Berkeley:
Kei is a brave first novel exploring the troubled entanglement of two young lovers who find themselves on opposing sides in the sectarian violence that marked the dawning of the twenty-first century in the Moluccas. The Kei islands form the southern flank of the Spice Islands, the scattering of small islands whose cloves and nutmeg launched Christopher Columbus’ ships, brought the Western world to its shores, and helped change the shape of history. Erni Aladjai invites the reader into a world marked by conflict and loss—heritage of the long era of colonial domination—but also, and importantly, writes of love, healing, and hope, rooted in the power of age-old local customs to make peace possible.
Melani Budianta, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Indonesia:
Strong in local color and portraying the rich culture of the island communities, Kei is about the events that are an unspoken part of Indonesian history. Erni Aladjai shows the reader that the horrors of the past need to be remembered, so they will not be repeated in the future.
Josephina Maria Mantik, Faculty of Humanities, University of Indonesia
Kei tells the story of two young islanders, Namira and Sala, who discover love in the midst of violence. Though of different faiths, they are united in the strong belief that the best way to express love is to be selfless and care about the needs of others. A sincere heart is the only cure for dangerous times.
Foreword Reviews Winter 2015:
See review: www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/kei/