[Easttimorstudies] Recent Book on East Timor

Jennifer Drysdale jenster at cres10.anu.edu.au
Thu Aug 3 17:22:08 EST 2006

Exile and Return Among the East Timorese
by Amanda Wise

East Timor, the world's newest nation, finally gained its 
independence in 2002, following half a millennium of Portuguese rule 
and 24 years of Indonesian occupation. That occupation produced a 
refugee diaspora spread between Portugal and Australia that has been 
integral in advancing East Timor's cause abroad. Because East 
Timorese in the diaspora identified strongly as exiles and invested 
so much in pursuing East Timor's independence, the homeland's 
liberation has complicated the very basis on which many have 
"imagined" themselves since fleeing to Australia.

Drawing on innovative ethnographic research, Exile and Return Among 
the East Timorese explores questions of shifting identity and home, 
trauma and embodiment, belonging and return among the East Timorese 
abroad at this critical juncture in their lives. The book asks what 
forms of cultural identity emerge among politically active refugee 
diasporas, what happens to such groups when the dream of homeland is 
fulfilled, and how they renegotiate a sense of home after exile.

The lived experience of Timorese in Australia and former refugees who 
have returned to East Timor is brought to life through their eloquent 
and often moving firsthand narratives, which the author has used 
liberally throughout the book, vividly presenting them alongside 
images and analysis of their role in the political struggle.

A volume in the Contemporary Ethnography series

Amanda Wise is Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Social 
Inclusion at Macquarie University in Australia.
<mailto:amanda.wise at scmp.mq.edu.au>amanda.wise<mailto:amanda.wise at scmp.mq.edu.au>@scmp.mq.edu.au

2006 248 pages. University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Jenny Drysdale
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