(Tuttle Publishing, VT, 2020)
The life story of prince Madé Djelantik is imbued with wonder and magic, awakening feelings of “lightness of being” in this uncertain age. Born in a legendary royal palace in Bali during the twilight of the feudal age in colonial times, the prince was later driven by an early passion for medicine to set sail for Europe and was the first Balinese to receive a degree from the University of Amsterdam. His calling took him to far flung corners of the planet, where he encountered everything from a pirate ambush in the South China Sea and a night attack by a famished army of rats, to a deadly volcanic eruption, and even arrest by the Saddam Hussein’s secret police. In each situation, Dr. Djelantik responded with equanimity and a sublime sense of humor. His extraordinary story is also linked to a pivotal event in his early childhood and the prophetic words uttered by the great Rabindranath Tagore, when the Bengali poet was a guest of his father. By the time, Dr Djelantik established the first hospital in Bali, he had become an internationally recognized malaria expert and as such, he radicated malaria on the island. At 80, the doctor was struck by a life-threatening illness. After miraculously waking up from a five week deep coma, he began to paint crucial scenes from his past. His 42 watercolors gave birth to this book. Dr. Djelantik’s world odyssey draws the reader into an incomparable vision of life, one that offers timeless guidance.
A must read! With an insider’s touch, the author pays homage with her vivid storytelling to the prince’s fascinating and dramatic life that spans much of the 20th century – from Bali’s feudal times to our global age.”— Jane Perlez, The New York Times
These marvelous stories and illustrations carry the graceful promise that it is possible to be both vividly local and profoundly global.—Mary Catherine Bateson, cultural anthropologist and author
This book reminds us how another truth exists within the law of “cause and effect” in the material world, and this truth is made of luminous coincidences, wonders, and miracles.— Francesco Clemente, Italian painter, member of the Transavanguardia
A real-life story found in an old chest provides all the drama needed today for film roles for women. In 1890s Manhattan, abuse and rape led to a crime that churned up a nation already rumbling about women’s rights.— New York Daily News
Astonishing! These episodes are swashbuckling adventures and forgotten histories, but perhaps most movingly, the celebration of a decades-long friendship between the author and the protagonist.— Stephen Lansing, anthropologist, Director of the Complexity Institute, Singapore.
Author of Perfect Order: Recognizing Complexity in Bali
The temptation of this epic is irresistible! The learning begins and ends with a note that it may be a good idea, in our violent time, to recreate the possibility of joy.— Goenawan Mohamad, essayist, poet, author of Faith in Writing
I celebrate this book and welcome its place in our world; there is so much we can learn within its pages.— Joesoef Isak, Publisher, Hasta Mitra, PEN International Freedom to Publish Award
IDANNA PUCCI, Florentine by birth and Balinese by adoption, studied Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of The Epic of Life, a classic on Balinese culture, and Brazza in Congo: a Life and Legacy that inspired her award winning documentary, “Black Africa White Marble”, shedding light on Central Africa’s colonial past and its troubled present. She also co-produced, “Talk Radio Tehran”, focusing on intrepid women who fulfill their aspirations in Iran’s gender-apartheid. Her latest book, The Lady of Sing Sing: an American Countess, an Italian Immigrant, and their Epic Battle for Justice in New York’s Gilded Age (Simon & Schuster, NY 2020) chronicles the first campaign against the death penalty which her American social activist great grandmother waged in 1895 to save from execution the first woman sentenced to the electric chair, a twenty-year old, illiterate Italian immigrant.