In May 2018, Stupor Mundi will be publishing a new paperback edition of my novel The White Porcupine. The book is a complex story in large part set in Java in the aftermath of WW2 as Indonesia struggled for independence from the Netherlands. We debated whether to use the beautiful cover designed by Will Hill for the original hardback edition, which is based on Javanese batik cloth, but decided against it, so as to give the new edition has its own identity. I was looking for period photographs, and found two by an unknown photographer(s) in a 1940s Dutch propaganda publication called Mission Interrupted which had been issued as part of a campaign to persuade the world that the Dutch should still be there running South East Asia.
Here are the two photos, one of a misty early morning in a Javanese courtyard, the other a group of soldiers guarding the palace of the Sultan of Jogjakarta (Central Java).
So – which photo to use? In the end we decided on the misty courtyard. Although the soldiers are evocative of a time and place, the courtyard has a more mysterious quality suggestive of stories to be told. You can see the full cover on the ‘Fiction’ page of this site.