This Is New York, and Umar Kayam tells the story of it. New York is a man-eating giant. This giant who knows because of what disease, never feel full let him have eaten how many thousands of people. Because of that his mouth kept gaping not had time to close. All human beings, white, black, yellow, brown, big, small, swallowed without picky anymore”.
Umar Kayam cites the change in the story of my wife, Madame Schlitz, and the Giant, the second and longest story in this collection. Typically, he did not say whether or not he agreed with the caricature of New York. But the 6 short stories he wrote during his life in the city all set in Manhatan (a” wilderness”, he said) presented the city of millions as an interesting, but gloomy world. “I looked out the window. Thousands of skyscrapers look like the mounds of black, stiff and fierce Hills.”
New York is a paradox. Millions of people live in it, but it seems deserted. In his apartment the lonely Indonesian wife, also a strange woman who put her name as Madame Schlitz: a woman out of nowhere, living only with a dog she trained to sing, while she herself studied yoga and to her guests told her biography that may not be true — to then disappear without a trace.