Jan Cornall is a writer, performance poet and singer based in Sydney Australia. Awarded a number of grants and fellowships, she has written fifteen plays and musicals, a feature film, a published novel, a poem/song collection, short stories and three CDs of songs. With a strong interest in Asia, Jan collaborates regularly with writers, musicians and artists from the region. She has performed her work at a number of literary festivals including Ubud Writers Festival (Bali), Utan Kayu Biennale(Jakarta), Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Northern Kingdoms Poetry Festival (Cambodia), Darwin’s Wordstorm, Irrawaddy Literary Festival (Burma) and Open Arts Festival (Beijing). Jan leads international writers retreats and is currently working on a literary memoir set in Vietnam, which traces the footsteps of the French author Marguerite Duras. Her novel Take Me to Paradise was launched at the Ubud Writers Festival in 2006 and her recent book Archipelagogo - Love Songs to Indonesia, is a delightful collection of poems, songs and stories penned during a decade of travel in Indonesia.
on March 12, 2015 :
In some ways this is reminiscent of both a coming of age story and a travel memoir.
Some people will disagree with me on the coming of age front arguing that the protagonist is far too old but I think that a lot of the themes are the same. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-recovery. A woman getting out of her element so that she can strip away the trappings of her life and discover what is her and what is a construction of her. As such this book would resonate with anyone who has had an existential crisis, midlife crisis, or went through those awkward teenage years.
As for the travel memoir, it has a beautifully rich setting, with sights, smells, and sounds blasting at you. You feel as if you are immersed in this world. The tropic jungle descriptions in particular are quite powerful and make you want to travel.
I highly enjoyed the themes and setting.
(review of free book)