When Mark Heyward first went to Indonesia, to teach at a small school in East Kalimantan, little did he realise how life changing his decision would prove to be. Within three years his Australian life would be behind him and he would be travelling, with fellow adventurers, across remote Indonesian Borneo. The story of that remarkable expedition — a true travel adventure — coalesces with the author’s longer journey into the complex heart of Indonesia.
It is a journey that spans two decades, that takes the reader from a treasured childhood in Tasmania to a new life in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Along the way the author travels from one end of the archipelago to the other, from the jungles of Kalimantan to the riots and political turmoil of Jakarta. When he meets and falls in love with Sopan, he must make another life changing decision.
Evocative and beautiful, yet often questioning, and always revealing, Crazy Little Heaven is both a love story and an unforgettable journey into Indonesian culture and geography − a hymn to this ‘sweet disappearing world’.
‘Prepare for a treat. Mark Heyward has written a most engaging travel tale, memoir and insightful exploration of Indonesian culture and recent history. His writing is up there with that doyen of travel writers, Patrick Leigh Fermor … Crazy Little Heaven is the best book on Indonesia I have ever read.’ —Tim Bowden, author, journalist and broadcaster
‘Crazy Little Heaven offers readers an affectionate insight into this country and its diverse culture… Heyward’s prose is evocative… Crazy Little Heaven is a welcome addition to studies of Indonesian culture. The book is also a testament to Heyward’s skills as a wordsmith.’ —Jay Daniel Thompson, Australian Book Review
‘Heyward is a clever writer who takes sensual pleasure in the use of language. His meandering first-hand traveler’s account of upriver travel is not only a tactile and intimate portrait of the beating heart of the world’s fifth largest island, but it’s also an astute look at the rich cultural and historic fabric that is Indonesia.’ —Bill Dalton, Tempo Magazine & Bali Advertisor