Synopsis – Biography

The Rainbow Troops, set on Belitong Island, Indonesia, tells the story of a tight-knit group of students and their teachers fighting for education and dignity, even as they face continual hardship. Fabulously rich in natural resources, Belitong is also home to chronic poverty and educational discrimination. This amazing story tells of a persistent young teacher and her tireless efforts to fight for her ten students’ right to an education. Together, they take the reader on a journey through the beauty of childhood friendship, the inspiration of love, and the power of education. The students’ magnetic personalities and unflagging determination are sure to inspire.  - Angie Kilbane                                                                       

Andrea Hirata was born in Gantong, Belitong, East Sumatra, Indonesia. He received a scholarship to study a masters degree at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, majoring in economic theory. He graduated with honours. After finishing his studies, he returned to Indonesia and worked for Indonesia’s biggest telecommunication company, TELKOM.
In 2004, he volunteered for tsunami disaster relief in Aceh.  In so doing,  he saw ruined schools that reminded him of his old promise to his elementary school teacher, Muslimah. Back then, when he was in the 5th grade, he made a promise that one day he would write a book for his teacher. And thus he started writing his first novel. The novel is called Laskar Pelangi: The Rainbow Troops and was never intended for mainstream publication. Now The Rainbow Troops is the biggest Indonesian novel ever, having sold millions of copies and being the first Indonesian literary work to be published by the global publisher FSG, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.
 Hirata has contributed significantly to the development of modern Indonesian literature.

A Major Breakthorugh in Indonesian Literary History- Andrea Hirata’s Laskar Pelangi  (The Rainbow Troops)  will be published by US Multi-Nobel Prize Winning Publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG). FSG, founded in1946, has published 23 Nobel Prize Winners in Literature such as TS. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, Nadine Gordimer, Seamus Heaney, and including Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate in Literature, 2010.The Rainbow Troops is now translated into 19 languages. It’s a story of the value of education and the triumph of the human spirit in extremely difficult situations- clearly strike a resonance in many readers. Laskar Pelangi was made into a film in 2008 and became a box office hit and has also won international recognitions. Robert G. Chris