- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: I.B.Tauris (2 Dec. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848855001
- ISBN-13: 978-1848855007
- Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3 x 22.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,257,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Where Hornbills Fly: A Journey with the Headhunters of Borneo Hardcover – 2 Dec 2010
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'An engrossing study of 6 years spent among the Iban of Sarawak half a century ago, Where Hornbills Fly is a remarkable testament of a young man's devotion to a remote people, the Iban of Sarawak, and a wonderful fund of first-hand knowledge about a dying culture.' --Colin Thubron
'Fascinating and insightful, light-hearted and humorous, every page of this brilliantly-written book evokes the colours, sounds and even the smells of Sarawak in the 1950s. Every page glistens with the reality of a world gone by but needing to be remembered. It was a voyage of discovery for the author 50 years ago but anyone reading it today can only admire the diaries and memories which has enabled him to recreate so vivid a picture of a world no longer with us.' --Sir Richard Jolly
'...intricately and tenderly observed' --The Rough Guide to Malaysia 2012
About the Author
Erik Jensen's impressive diplomatic career after Sarawak, which involved postings and missions around the world from New York and London to Bahrain, Pakistan and Bangladesh, East Timor, Nigeria, Chad and Western Sahara, culminated in his appointment as an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. He holds degrees from Oxford and Harvard and honorary doctorates from Connecticut and Seoul and has been Senior Associate Member of St Antony's, Oxford, Visiting Fellow at the LSE and Warburg Professor in International Relations at Simmons College, Boston. He has contributed articles to The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph and written several books, including 'The Iban and their Religion' and 'Western Sahara, Anatomy of a Stalemate'. Erik Jensen was an original Fellow of the Borneo Research Council and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is indeed the story of the Iban Dyaks, the former head-hunting tribes of Sarawak and the clash between their traditional way of life and the encroaching modern world of the 1950's and 60's. It is also the memoir of seven years in the life of a highly-educated and idealistic yet practical man who set out to help them by first learning their way of life from within. There were steep learning curves both for the Dyaks and for the author, whose interests ranged from the practicalities of what crops could be grown, education and hygiene to respect for the traditions of the tribes and the philosophical question of how societies and religions interact.
What sets this book apart is the quality of the writing. There is clarity from short crisp sentences, but each is loaded with a rich texture of words. The author brings alive the subject like a deft painter with a brush.
When I first saw the book I wondered if more photographs could have been included, but the descriptions conjure the place and the people as only good writing can, producing in the mind's eye something more vivid than any picture or film. There are also delightful little black and white drawings to discover at the head of each chapter.
This book has many of the qualities of a good novel: eminently readable; characters one grows to care about; philosophical questions tackled with a light touch and vivid descriptions of place to transport the imagination. This would make an ideal choice for a reading group.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully written book about the author's time in Borneo as a young man working with Headhunters. Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2013 by K. Clark
This book fell into the none of the traps that I was expecting it to. Although written about events 50 years previously, it came across as fresh as something that happened today. Read morePublished on 18 Sept. 2013 by Tim Holden
Superb book. We are very interested in Borneo (actually Kalimantan). My wife's first novel (Taste for Green Tangerines) takes place in a Dayak longhouse just across the mountains... Read morePublished on 13 May 2013 by Roger Montgomery
This book is beautifully written, succinct in descriptions that create a colourful images. I work every year in the forests of Borneo with the Iban and other tribes and Erik Jensen... Read morePublished on 26 July 2012 by KevAlbin