Stealing With the Eyes has just been reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement by poet, musicologist and Balinese gamelan expert Kate Wakeling. If you are a subscriber, you can find the review here. Here is an extract:
A month into his anthropological fieldwork on the Tanimbar Islands, a small archipelago in Indonesia, Will Buckingham begins to wonder if he is turning into a witch: “the soul of a Tanimbarese witch is an insubstantial thing, entirely without anchor. This is why witches can fly, and even enter the bodies of their enemies … Buffeted here and there across islands, lonely and unanchored, in search of significance and weight, I wondered if I myself were part witch”. Buckingham’s witch complex turns out to be fleeting, but his deeply unsettled sense of identity and purpose lingers throughout his stay and lies at the heart of this fascinating book… As a memoir, Stealing With the Eyes is powerful. Buckingham has a wonderful eye for detail, and the tale he has woven is gripping. And as he discovers, it is stories that matter most of all in Tanimbar.”
It’s a very nuanced, thoughtful and generous-spirited review. Get hold of a copy of the TLS to have a read, buy yourself a copy of the book, and whilst you are at it head over to Kate’s site to read about her work as well.