"Set in the repressive Indonesia of the early 1980s...[a] powerful and highly original portrait of a particular time and place." -Publishers Weekly starred review
It's the early 1980s. Western governments are pouring millions into development schemes on the islands of Java and Bali-even as President Suharto violently stifles dissent. For Canadian veterinarian Abner Dueck, the "spice islands" are an exotic locale for the seemingly mundane work of examining dead cows while working with old friends. But his life changes abruptly when some cows die under odd circumstances, and he meets a mysterious young Chinese woman. Then two of his friends-one Canadian and one Indonesian-are murdered.
Dueck must battle Indonesian politics and local businessmen, military rulers, and international "advisors" who want to manipulate development projects to their own ends. To unravel the mysterious deaths of cattle and people, Dueck must first understand the long shadow cast on Indonesian life by the 1966 massacres; the complexities of their music; the demands and intrigues of love and conspiracy, death and mystery; and of course, cultural heritage and personal identity.
David Waltner-Toews is an essayist, poet, fiction writer, veterinarian, and a specialist in the epidemiology of food and waterborne diseases, zoonoses (diseases other animals share with people), and ecosystem health. A professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph, he is the founding president of Veterinarians without Borders/Veterinaires sans Frontieres-Canada and of the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health. Fear of Landing is his debut novel.