Barack Obama once said, “Because Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands, hundreds of languages and people from scores of regions and ethnic groups, my time here helped me appreciate the humanity of all people.” There are very few good books in English that help you understand the beautiful diversity of the Indonesian people. Elizabeth Pisani’s richly entertaining account of a year spent traveling around the archipelago is one of them. She weaves a deep knowledge of a country working on its ‘etc.’ since 1945. The year it said that it would “work out the details of the transfer of power etc. as soon as possible.
“A spectacular achievement and one of the very best travel books I have read.” —Simon Winchester, Wall Street Journal
Fearless and funny, and sharply perceptive, Elizabeth Pisani has drawn a though-provoking and entertaining journey through one of the world’s largest, most dynamic and most contradictory countries. In 2011, she travelled over 26,000 miles by land and sea, dropping in on local potentates and staying with farmers and fishermen, and nomads and nurses, often on islands too small to appear on a map, to rediscover Indonesia’s enduring attraction, and to find the links which bind together this impossibly disparate nation.
- Hardcover, 416 pages
- 24.4 x 16.5 x 3.6 cm (9.6 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches)
- Published by WW Norton & Company
Elizabeth Pisani, who first worked in Indonesia 25 years ago as a foreign correspondent and came back a decade later as a medical researcher, is the author of The Wisdom of Whores and Indonesia Etc.. She was born in the United States and educated in several European countries. Currently based in London, the author, analyst, and epidemiologist is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London’s Policy Institute, an Honorary Professor in the Department of Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Fellow of the School of Health Policy and Management at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. She has contributed essays on Indonesian politics to Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, and Nikkei Asia Review.