“We arrived in Milwaukee Wisconsin on a hot August day. The Hintz and Mattner families picked us up from the train station, not on bicycles or with a tuk tuk, but in really big cars, speaking words I didn’t understand. To my amazement, when I opened my first school textbook, there was one word I could read- JANE. See JANE run! I didn’t know what the sentence meant. Maybe it meant I, JANE, am in America.”

Jane Vogel Mantiri, AGE Founder, has written this primer as a legacy to family and friends, memorializing the obstacles, the given circumstances, and the love that has made up the tapestry of her life.

The Indo culture is rapidly evaporating. This culture gave meaning to my life through tastes, smells, sounds, and relationships which were distinctly Indo. The decolonization of Indonesia after World War II left hundreds of thousands of Indos like my family without a home. Out of this exodus rose strength, resilience, and gratitude. My lifelong search for place and identity transcends culture. It is not unique to me or to Indos. I hope every reader finds something in my memoir that resonates with their experience…

Memoirs are tricky. People may not remember events the same way. The stories I’ve written are based on my recollections, knowing that all memory is selective, subjective, and fluid. Some of the information in my stories came from letters, journals, and notes which I have saved. Some of the names are pseudonyms. Everything in this memoir is my truth…

It has been transformative and healing to write stories which cover seven decades, three continents, and countless adventures. The one thread that runs through each story is love. Love brought me into the world. Love sustained me through the difficult times. Love is the legacy I leave to my family and friends when I exit this world. Love is the beginning, middle, and end of my story.”


All proceeds from this memoir will be donated to AGE

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