Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christopher Koch and an Asian Australia.

One of Australia's greatest novelists Christopher Koch died in Hobart on Monday. His best known work "The Year of Living Dangerously" was even better known worldwide as a film. He was 81 and the cause according to his agent Margaret Connolly was cancer.

The book was loosely based on his little brother Philip and his reporting for the ABC on Indonesia in the 60's. The novel was published in 1978, the film starred Mel Gibson. The book was credited with showing a greater connection and shifting focus from the western history of Australia to a more intricate connection with our neighbors in Asia.

The fact of the matter is that in recent years, especially since 1978, Australia has maintained strong alliances with Asian countries. Most of our trade agreements are with Asian countries and we rely heavily on economic powers like China and Japan for our exporting and importing efforts.

Financially, Australians are more likely to holiday in Asia because of cheaper flights and your children are more likely to have Asian friends in Australia than in any other western country. If not for a chance discovery by British discoverers hundreds of years ago we would more likely be an Asian nation.

Growing up in an area with a large Asian population I can't help but be drawn to the places my school friends have told me about, I can't help but be drawn to Asian culture and food and it shows in my writing. My creative writing involves aspects of Asian culture, I am drawn to books like Taipei by Tao Lin and Growing up Asian in Australia edited by Alice Pung.

I wasn't around when Koch published "The Year of Living Dangerously" but the connection it made between Australia and Asia creates an appeal that I am aware of today. 

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I'm a Taekwondo and MMA athlete. I also write novels and screenplays.