The Banda Islands: Hidden Histories and Miracles of Nature

The Book

“To me, all the East is here.”

W. Somerset Maugham, The Narrow Corner (1932)

These tiny ‘islands of spicerie’ in the middle of the Banda Sea have been at the heart of some key moments in history that have shaped the world we live in today, from the beginnings of global capitalism and colonisation, to Indonesia’s journey towards becoming a nation.

For some, this was the setting for unimaginable hardships, where blood was spilled for money and power, and a tropical idyll became a prison.

Today the region is one of the last true marine wildernesses in the world: its ecological significance and mysterious resilience draw visitors who seek another kind of wealth.

The Banda Islands anthology weaves together the strands of this rich tapestry through the words and images of those who have come under the islands’ spell throughout centuries.

The anthology features contributions from international and Indonesian writers, artists, and photographers: Amitav Ghosh, Giles Milton, Goenawan Mohamad, Des Alwi, John Seabrook, Michael Vatikiotis, Elizabeth Pisani, Willard A. Hanna, Peter V. Lape, Lukman A. Ang, David E. Parry, Hanna Rambé, Utuy Tatang Sontani, Ian Burnet, H. W. Ponder, Beatrice Glow, Hanafi & Jean Couteau, Ron Jenkins, Made Wianta, Joëlla Van Donkersgoed, Alfred Russel Wallace, Tim Severin, Anna Forbes, Phillip Winn, Rudolf Mrazek, S. J. Perelman, Lawrence Blair, Mareike Huhn, James Oseland, Janet DeNeefe, M. Fadli & Fatris MF, Jay Subyakto, and Ken Taylor.


Support a Sustainable Future for the Banda Islands

10% of direct sales (books bought directly from the publisher) go to sustainability initiatives on the islands. For more information on the worthy causes we support, click here.


How to Buy

There are a few ways to buy The Banda Islands, depending on your location:

  1. To order a copy directly from Kabar Media, email The book is priced at Rp. 395,000 (SGD 38, USD 30, AUD 40, EUR 25, GBP 22, CHF 28). Payments can be made by bank transfer or through PayPal by transfer to avi[at]
  2. The Banda Islands is also available for purchase within Indonesia on Tokopedia.
  3. Indonesian and international orders can be made through Afterhours.
  4. The book is also for sale in multiple locations in Indonesia at Periplus bookstores and in Bali at Ganesha bookstores.