Indonesia Etc. | Granta

  • Published: 07/05/2015
  • ISBN: 9781847086556
  • 129x20mm
  • 416 pages

Indonesia Etc.

Elizabeth Pisani

In 1945, Indonesia’s declaration of independence promised: ‘the details of the transfer of power etc. will be worked out as soon as possible.’ Still working on the ‘etc.’ seven decades later, the world’s fourth most populous nation is now enthusiastically democratic and riotously diverse – rich and enchanting but riddled with ineptitude and corruption.

Elizabeth Pisani, who first worked in Indonesia 25 years ago as a foreign correspondent, set out in 2011, travelling over 13,000 miles, to rediscover its enduring attraction, and to find the links which bind together this disparate nation. Fearless and funny, and sharply perceptive, she has drawn a compelling, entertaining and deeply informed portrait of a captivating nation.

Pisani is relentlessly curious and her ability to pitch up anywhere and grasp the essence of the place is truly impressive. [Indonesia Etc.] gives a vivid sense of what Indonesia feels, smells and tastes like. For anyone about to visit the country, her book is an essential companion

Misha Glenny, Guardian

Truly memorable... Pisani is a force of nature... vastly intelligent, doggedly curious, spectacularly multilingual... [This is] a treasure of a volume

Simon Winchester, Wall Street Journal

Pisani takes on many big themes [but] her erudition is never dull... Beautifully written and richly entertaining


The Author

Elizabeth Pisani was Indonesia correspondent for Reuters and the Economist from 1988 to 1991. She worked with Indonesia’s Ministry of Health from 2001 to 2005 as an epidemiologist, and spent 2011-2012 travelling the archipelago. Pisani is the author of The Wisdom of Whores (Granta, 2008), an exploration of the HIV industry. She has degrees in Classical Chinese, Medical Demography and Infectious Disease Epidemiology and speaks several languages, including Indonesian.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

The Wisdom Of Whores

Elizabeth Pisani

In The Wisdom of Whores, epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani brings honesty, wit and startling pragmatism to the tawdry front lines of sex and drugs. She explains how we could shut down HIV in most of the world with a few simple steps, with less money than we already have spent. We could do it now. But shockingly, it isn’t happening. From the backstreets to the boardrooms, politics, ideology and cash have bulldozed through scientific evidence and common sense. The Wisdom of Whores is both a riveting exposé of the Aids industry and a penetrating analysis of where we’ve gone wrong.

Elizabeth Pisani on

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

A Summer’s Evening in Beijing

Elizabeth Pisani

‘The air is light with the intoxicating fumes of impending martyrdom.’