Three Lessons from Tanimbar, a Prologue and an Epilogue

At the Ubud Writers and Readers festival tonight, I’ll be giving a talk on my book Stealing With the Eyes at the lovely Casa Luna restaurant. I’m really looking forward to it. The subtitle of the talk is “Three Lessons from Tanimbar, a Prologue and an Epilogue”. As a taster, here is the outline. I’m looking forward to it. Prologue: On Babies made from Shit “From her shit she made a ball, and out of this she fashioned a baby” …

Return to Indonesia

It is a warm night in Bali, and I am walking along the road eating tahu isi – filled, deep fried parcels of tofu – when I realise how grateful I am to be back in Indonesia after almost a quarter of a century. I came to Indonesia in 1994 to study to become an anthropologist. I spent six of the most formative months of my life in the Tanimbar islands of Maluku, and returned to the UK to take …

To Steal With the Eyes

Just over a quarter of a century ago, whilst I was a student of Fine Arts, I fell in love with the strange charms of anthropology. After starting my degree, it turned out that I wasn’t a particularly good artist, so I took refuge in the university library instead. I used to walk the library waiting for books to leap out at me and surprise me. And in this way, in my second year at university I stumbled across the …