How self-published novel Jalan Jalan took flight with an Asian publisher

Mike Stoner couldn’t find a publisher for his story of an expat’s dark days in Indonesia – until he looked eastAs soon as I read Mike Stoner’s self-published novel, Jalan Jalan, I had a feeling that it ought to be able to find a commercial publisher. The book was the last winner of the Guardian’s self-published book of the month, which picked seven books from open submissions between June and December 2014 and reviewed them on the site. I followed the series from the start, but Jalan Jalan was the first entry to really catch my attention. The tale follows a heartbroken young Brit through Indonesia, where he finds himself embroiled in a murky world at the bottom of the expat barrel after accepting a teaching job at a dodgy language school after a five-minute telephone interview.Josh Lacey called it an “involving tale of self-transformation, and a welcome blast of heat and spice”. It’s all that and more; a curious blend of Alex Garland and Nick Hornby with a ghost thrown in for good measure. It has some memorable drug- and alcohol-fuelled set pieces, lots of very funny dialogue, and lashings of tropical atmosphere. But it also has a more complex, moving and rather magical core. The protagonist – whose name is not revealed until the final chapter – is haunted by memories of his dead girlfriend, and as the book progresses it becomes clear that there is more going on here than mere misadventure in a foreign land. Continue reading... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2016-03-25 00:00:00 UTC ]
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A Publishers’ Workshop in the Philippines: Southeast Asian Literature in the Spotlight

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