Parallel Forces is the story of a unique family, centred on Amyrra, one of twin sisters. Amyrra’s story is set mainly in modern Australia but also in ancient Java. Her life parallels the life of a queen, Ken Dedes, in the Golden Age of a Javanese kingdom. Amyrra seeks refuge in a personal God to free herself from her fate to love and suffer again, as she believes she had so many centuries earlier.
The story opens with the adult sisters attending a wedding in suburban Camberwell, then quickly flashes back to childhood in Singapore. They were born in Singapore, where their Javanese father, Hardoyo, a poet and their French mother, Claudine, an artist, lived for ten years.
Moving to Indonesia when the girls were just teen-age, the family is shocked when a village seer tells Amyrra that she is the present incarnation of the twelfth century Javanese queen, Ken Dedes, and that she will meet the present incarnation of the queen’s lover, Ken Arok, and they will resume their love affair.
During the Golden Age of the Majapahit kingdom, Ken Dedes married her lover, Ken Arok, after he had killed her husband, the king. Their relationship ended unhappily and their descendants have fought and killed each other for generations after. Despite her obsession to avoid meeting her fated lover, Amyrra finally meets Sean Devlin, who she feels she has known for a long time. From then on, her life parallels the life of Ken Dedes, as she is swept toward the horrifying end.
Nov 1988, 197pp
Paperback, 215 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9587718 1 2
RRP $aud 16.95
As a published writer of novels, short stories and essays, and an established role as a regional journalist, Dewi Anggraeni is well-known in both Australia and Indonesia, especially among those in both countries who maintain an interest in regional affairs.
Her major works have been published by Indra Publishing:
Who Did This To Our Bali?, 2003
Neighbourhood Tales: A Bilingual Collection, 2001
Journeys Through Shadows, 1998
Stories of Indian Pacific, 1992
Parallel Forces, 1988
The Root of all Evil, 1987
Dewi’s poetry, short stories and essays appear in anthologies from a range of publishers:
“Journey to My Cultural Home” in Weaving a Double Cloth; Stories of Asia Pacific Women in Australia (Ed. Myra Jean Bourke, Susanne Holzknecht and Annie Bartlett, Pandanus Books, 2002)
“Exposing Crimes Against Women” in The Last Days of President Suharto (Ed. Edward Aspinall, Herb Feith and Gerry van Klinken, Monash Asia Institute, 1999)
“Rejected by Ibu Pertiwi” in Motherlode (Ed. Stephanie Holt and Maryanne Lynch, Sybylla Feminist Press, 1997)
“From Indonesia to Australia and Back: Cultural Sensitivities” in Crossing Cultures: Essays on Literature & Culture of the Asia-Pacific (Ed.Bruce Bennett, Jeff Doyle, Satendra Nandan, Skoob Books, 1996)”Illegal” in Our Heritage (Ed. Satyagraha Hoerip, Pustaka Binaman Pressindo, 1993)
“Irritations” in Striking Chords (Ed. Sneja Gunew and Kateryna O Longley, Allen & Unwin, 1992)
“Mal Tombé” in Beyond the Echo (Ed. Sneja Gunew and Jan Mahyuddin UQP, 1988)
“A Foreigner in East Gippsland” in Up From Below (Women’s Redress Press Inc., 1987)