Author(s): Christopher Koch
The charismatic god-king Sukarno has brought Indonesia to the edge of chaos - to an abortive revolution that will leave half a million dead. For the Western correspondents here, this gathering apocalypse is their story and their drug, while the sufferings of the Indonesian people are scarcely real: a shadow play. Working at the eye of the storm are television correspondent Guy Hamilton and his eccentric dwarf cameraman Billy Kwan. In Kwan's secret fantasy life, both Sukarno and Hamilton are heroes. But his heroes betray him, and Billy is driven to desperate action. As the Indonesian shadow play erupts into terrible reality, a complex personal tragedy of love, obsession and betrayal comes to its climax.
Christopher Koch was born and educated in Tasmania. For a good deal of his life he was a broadcasting producer, working for the ABC in Sydney. He has lived and worked in London and elsewhere overseas. He has been a fulltime writer since 1972, winning international praise and a number of awards for his novels, many of which are translated in a number of European countries. One of his novels, The YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, was made into a film by Peter Weir and was nominated for an Academy Award. He has twice won the Miles Franklin award for fiction: for THE DOUBLEMAN and HIGHWAYS TO A WAR. In 1995 Koch was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to Australian literature. His most recent novel is THE MEMORY ROOM won the CAL Waverley Award for Literature in 2008.