Bitter Dawn: East Timor, a People's History
Published by Zed Books
2002, 320pp, ISBN 9781842771457, Paperback
Few nations have endured a birth as traumatic and painful as the world's youngest country, East Timor. Born amid the flames, pillage and mayhem that surrounded Indonesia's reluctant withdrawal in 1999, it will for years be coping with the effects of destruction. Irena Cristalis, one of a handful of foreign journalists who stayed on during that nightmare to report it to the world, has kept faith with the Timorese friends whose story she decided to tell.
Her book is a first-hand account of the lives of individual Timorese during the long decades of Indonesia's repressive occupation, their often heroic struggle for freedom, and their efforts to cope with the dramatic historic shifts engulfing them. Based on years of research and lengthy interviews with East Timor's past, present and future leaders, it explores the complexities of East Timor's internal politics.
The book also tells the story of the ordinary students, farmers, nuns, priests, journalists and others, who found themselves playing extraordinary roles in terrible times.
Irena Cristalis is a Dutch journalist and photographer, who since 1990 has been based in East Asia.
"...A highly readable book full of drama and tenderness for the victims of those terrible events..."
The View From the Ditch * The New Order Fades * The Past Casts its Shadow * Candles in the Graveyard * Colonialism and Occupation * The Bishop on the Mountain * Maria Lourdes--Timor's Joan of Arc * The Wisdom of the Crocodiles * A Window of Opportunity * Big Brother Xanana or Memories of Matebian * Assault on Dili * The Militia in Control * Unamet -- Asking the Fox to Guard the Chickens * Dancing with Falintil * Intimidation and Threats * A Party in the Jungle * Voting for Freedom * The Price of Freedom * Under Siege * Counting the Bodies * Reinventing Timor * The Crocodile Returns
Includes photos throughout.
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