Mendut is a small village at Elo riverbank, Magelang, Central Java. It is remarkable place for those who know the history, learn from it, and enjoy its fruits. In 1908, there was a great Catholic dormitory for girls in Mendut. The girls who lived at dormitory consists of the students of kindergarten school, Hollandsch-Inlandsche School (HIS)or primary school, Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs (MULO) or high school and Kweekschool school or school for teachers. The Virgins of Mendut, a historical novel, is written based on the valid data and facts of life related to the first generation’s education of Catholic girls in the dormitory. This novel becomes a literary monument and perpetuates the history of the Catholic Church in Java before the beginning of World War II. By using simple but straightforward language, Mangunwijaya could delivered the problems of education, young women, emancipation, human relationship, friendship, and love in the story smoothly and attractively.
Yusuf Bilyarta Mangunwijaya, Pr (1929– 1999). He was graduated from the Philosophy of Theology Institute of Yogyakarta in 1959, and was graduated from the School of Engineering -Rhein-Westfalen, Aachen, Germany in 1966. In 1978 he followed a Fellow of Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, Aspen, USA. Many of his writings have been published as books, and many of his articles have been published in various media. His book entitled Literature and Religiosity won the first prize of the Jakarta Arts Council for essay category, in 1982. While the Manyar Birds won the South East Asia White Award 1983. Some of his books are translated in Dutch, English, and Japanese.