Published by Granta, June 2014
A fascination journey through one of the world’s largest, most dynamic and most contradictory countries.
One in 30 of the people on this planet is Indonesian. The 13,000 islands of their homeland, scattered along the equator, stretch the distance from London to Tehran, and the residents of the capital, Jakarta, tweet more than those of any other city on the planet. By any standard, Indonesia is a global hub, one the most dynamic and diverse countries of the 21st century. But you don’t have to look far from metropolitan Jakarta to find poverty, superstition, ancient rituals and black magic.
Travelling from volcanoes, jungles to reefs and snowy peak, investigative reporter Elizabeth Pisani sets out capture the real Indonesia. On the way she meets Sultan of Jogjakarta, a former presidential candidate who keeps posse albino dwarf in his court, visits one of the largest red light districts in Asia, join protesters trying to ban Lady Gaga from their homeland, and takes tea with a recent deceased grandmother.
Written with Pisani’s trademark with and brio, this is an entertaining and indispensable guide to fascinating country we can’t afford not to know more about
Elizabeth Pisani studies Chinese at Oxford before working as a foreign correspond for Reuters, the Economist and the Asia Times. She has and MSc in Medical Demography and PHD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology. Her other book is the Wisdom of Whores