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Crossing the Arafura Sea

He is an Australian businessman with a secret hope that Australia as a nation will count for something important in its region and the world. She is the daughter of an Indonesian mystic whose secret hope is that she will become the country's president. Each year she spends a night with her father in the graves of their ancestors. "Otherwise," she laughs, "I'm just a regular Sydney girl," or, as she sometimes says, "a ratbag feminist." She is against abortion and wants marriage and children. He believes that free love, like free markets, will find its own way. As a compromise, they marry in a secular ceremony in Prague and become crusaders for a liberal, democratic new world order. But Indonesian and Australian politics - and the Goddess of the Arafura Sea - conspire against them. Author Biography: Australian writer-diplomat Bruce Grant has written ten works of non-fiction, three novels, essays and short stories published in The New Yorker, Mademoiselle, Playboy, Cleo, The Bulletin, Quadrant, Overland and Meanjin. His first book, Indonesia, became a classic. Crossing the Arafura Sea is one of three novels on the theme "Love in the Asian Century." He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi, foundation chairman of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, chairman of the Australian Dance Theatre, chairman of the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, president of Melbourne's International Film Festival and president of Melbourne's International Arts Festival. His essay "The Great Pretender at the Bar of Justice," written at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, was published in The Best Australian Essays 2002. "Bali: The Spirit of Here and Now," written after the October 2002 bombings, was published in The Best Australian Essays 2004. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by Monash University in December 2003 and distinguished Fellow by the Australian Institute of International Affairs in 2010.
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