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At the time of the construction of Borobudur in the ninth century, Buddhism had been established in Java for several centuries. Mackenzie’s "Borobudur", an exquisite long poem, tells the story of its legendary architect, Gunavarman, and of Indonesia’s mystical monument with cultural understanding, sensitivity and great feeling. Like Gunavarman by the poem’s end, Mackenzie becomes ‘a dot on the horizon’ leaving us stilled in silence.
"Like turning a wonderfully textured and beautifully glazed vessel around and around, the chronology of Jennifer Mackenzie's Borobudur, is progressed while eluding linearity. Her legend of Gunavarman, Javanese Buddhism's almost mythical priest-architect, reminds one of Hesse's Siddhartha with the parallel reality she creates for the book's protagonists. Borobudur is a memorable invention, utterly present as it succors both history and imagination. The poem's tropical atmospheres and correspondingly spiced language, the sumptuous detail and layers of story, girdle the poem as it, in its marvelous stead, encircles the monument which time almost forgot." ~ Kris Hemensley
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Mackenzie has a long-standing interest in Asia, travelling to India, Indonesia, Cambodia and China. A fascination with Old Asia led to the Borobudur project, and to a Master's degree on the historical fiction of Pramoedya Ananta Toer. She lived and worked in China for several years, and is currently working on an ongoing literary project set in China and Australia. She has two children and lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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