Timor L’Este reveals tectonic forces operating between Australia and Asia
Beyond borders, is now well advanced in the editorial phase. I’ve started work on the eBook and as soon as my final text is set I will begin recording stories for the audiobook.
Links to draft audio versions of some stories can be found below.
A contemporary perspective
In this second decade of the twenty-first century borders have assumed a tighter and more impervious dimension, mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both physical and unseen borders have long been with us, their relative porosity varying over time. Whether as a result of natural events like Pleistocene sea-level changes, migration of people, ancient imperial expansion, or the more recent eras colonialism and imperialism, borders have not remained permanent.
Australia’s ancient borders
Moving around Australia, one crosses the borders of many ancient nations their boundaries mostly invisible to outsiders. In my first book of short stories Seen and unseen a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific I referenced this in First landfall.
The very act of leaving Australia by first travelling from Sydney to Perth involved crossing as many as twenty-six ancient borders within Australia.
Scope of this work
Beyond borders, overlaps with my first book. Its first story Iniquity shall abound, was to be in that first book. Unfortunately, one of the characters referenced in the story asked me to drop any mention of them, so I rewrote the story. I have included it in this collection.
This collection comprises stories written between 2002 and 2020 though some reach back into the 1950s.
My perspective is influenced by having lived, for twenty-five of the last thirty-seven years, outside the borders of my country, Australia.
There are twenty-four stories and many of them explore regional connections. Some explore spaces beyond national borders. Only a few stories are set exclusively within Australia.
An aspect of my outlook, one that stimulated an interest in exploring connections and continuity between places, was my early study of systematic geography.
Only those stories set in Greece and Turkey, are beyond the Australia-Asia-Pacific region.
This work begins with reflections on another’s childhood in 2002. The child is in immigration detention. I learned much from this child and was drawn to contrast their experience with that of my own childhood. From that point my stories continue with a focus on my own childhood in Coogee before moving through adolescence and into adulthood.
Some stories begin in the present but explore past events as well. This might confuse the chronology for some, but I hope you bear with me.
Living in South East Asia
Having Singapore as a base gives one easy access to the countries of Southeast Asia. Over the past seven years, this has presented an opportunity to view the world from a new vantage point, a globalised space, on the margin of the Asian continent. From here there is an excellent view to the south, thriough Nusantara, Melanesia, and on to my own continent. Being here has also enabled easier access to the ‘Old World’.
From ‘Beyond borders’
Here are three audio versions of my stories. They are drafts. I’ve included a little of the text as well.