Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Familiar Messes and other essays

Rate this book
“I found solace in nothing. Because everything was temporary. And days flew by like heavy cigarette smoke floating above the dancing heads in the city’s most notorious club, like speech bubbles written in a language you cannot understand, like a dragon’s breath you keep chasing, like pills that move from your hand to your red lips.”

Gratiagusti Chananya Rompas’ personal essays are troves of memories she can always turn back to. They started off as day-to-day accounts of events from her younger years and the now. But Anya, as she is often called, is obsessed with how things people do — often in haste — quickly fossilize into memories, and how these memories, in turn, shape their lives.

78 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Gratiagusti Chananya Rompas

4 books41 followers
Gratiagusti Chananya Rompas was born in Jakarta, 19 August 1979. She studied English Literature in Universitas Indonesia, Depok (2003) and received her masters in The Gothic Imagination from University of Stirling, Scotland (2005).

She is one of the founders of Komunitas BungaMatahari, a mailing list-based Indonesian poetry community that have embraced many poetry enthusiasts with its catchphrase “semua bisa berpuisi” or, roughly translated, “poetry for all”. She is also involved in Selatan, an online literary journal in Bahasa Indonesia, and PaviliunPuisi, a monthly open mic event that is open to poets, poetry communities and artists to showcase their works to an open-minded audience in a casual setting.

Her poetry collections are "Kota Ini Kembang Api" and "Non-Spesifik", both published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama. She also has a column, "From Our Breakfast Table", on The Murmur House. She plans to write some more, particularly on the subjects of memory and place. She is also interested in exploring themes of day-to-day life, motherhood and mental illness through writing in collaboration with other art forms, such as film, music, drawing, painting and dancing.

She currently resides in Jakarta, with her husband and daughter.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6 (7%)
4 stars
30 (36%)
3 stars
41 (50%)
2 stars
4 (4%)
1 star
1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Raafi.
786 reviews389 followers
January 10, 2019
Last year, I brought the book from Jakarta and intended to read for flight. I maybe read a half book or more and got distracted with other books so I didn't finish it yet. Until last Sunday when I went for mid-year retreat program and assured myself to read the book. Now, I officially finished it.

It's so Anya; with intuition about little things around her and made the words meaningful. However, I didn't understand all of her writing in this book. Some of them are too long and too complicated to figure out. The other writings remind me about her fight with her illness.

"In the morning, I was a different person I think. I grew up a bit, into an adult who always tries to hold her tears just a bit longer every time." - The Change in A Room (pg. 15)
Profile Image for (≧∇≦).
125 reviews7 followers
July 22, 2021
Kumpulan essai yang sangat jujur dan membuatku ikut hanyut dalam cerita kehidupan si penulis. Segala perasaan sedih dan teman-temannya mampu tersalurkan setidaknya untukku. Beberapa aku ikut merasa sesak saat membacanya.
Profile Image for literautres.
196 reviews20 followers
January 14, 2022
scraping minds on loose paper after paper. i don't know what i'm doing. it just feels like otherwise i will lose everything. but what do we humans have got to lose. i remember when i don't want to remember. yet i don't want to forget anything at all.

i have been putting off reading this book since 2019, i think? from wanting to purchase it to knowing it is available on iPusnas to borrowing it and then forgetting it and then borrowing it again. this actually one of those attempts of mine to decrease the amount of my tbr haha..

anyway, the book. the writing feels so incredibly personal, i almost feel hesitant to actually feel anything about it. i mean they are personal essays, what do i even expect of course they will feel personal. i just dont think it will be to the level where i feel like i am violating someone's privacy haha.

some of the essays i can relate to, so much, to the point that it's scary. but other than that, just like the title, the writing feels really messy, they dont feel like they hold a certain theme to it. maybe it is the author's intention, or maybe she just doesnt intend to it to be anything at all. it is not bad though.
Profile Image for Radinka Daynara.
22 reviews
March 7, 2023
Written by Gratiagusti Chanaya Rompas the founder of Komunitas BungaMatahari (mailing list-based Indonesian poetry community) this book troves a few if not a handful of her mundane stories.

I bought this book to get me out of bad reading slump in 2019. I admit I was so bad at English (until now, perhaps lol) I need books that are written in English maybe those could help me brush it up, I guess?

Nothing hard to digest in the book. The writings are simple and easy to read. The only downside is perhaps how the writings feel more like a diary than a trove of essays methinks.

All in all, this book is a good read for anyone who wants to start reading again after a bad reading slump. Not a groundbreaking essay collection but quite a read
Profile Image for Reffi Dhinar.
Author 7 books4 followers
April 23, 2019
As expected, the title is Familiar Mess, so even this book is thin, I can feel the author's sadness and gloomy mind so real. Until I read the page 'Afterword', she said that she has Bipolar, now I know why her stories are so complicated. I love how she can pack her riot mind into an honest essay or poem. Art is not only about pain, Art is also about irregular sentences.
Profile Image for mid.
133 reviews12 followers
November 7, 2020
actually i was about to give little less than 3. but later during the read i found the laughter and bitter of warm. it isn't a collection of happy stories. it is dark. but kinda... dark and someone holding your hand through it.
Profile Image for Meg ✿.
82 reviews
December 1, 2021
it's like reading someone's diary until you can't stop reading it. some parts are a bit hard to understand and make me wonder and some make my jaw drop. ofc it's full of gloomy gloomy feelin' blue vibes
Profile Image for Perdana.
110 reviews20 followers
June 17, 2018
I like this book. So intimate, so blue, and yet so hopeful the way Plath’s “I am. I am. I am.”
Profile Image for Bagas.
2 reviews
September 20, 2018
ga tau kenapa tapi ketika baca ini suka sedih sendiri. really dark, but really quick read jadi ga keberatan.
Profile Image for Farajour.
14 reviews
December 3, 2022
It's feel like personal.

I grew up a bit, into an adult who always tries to hold her tears just a bit longer everytime.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.