by Will Buckingham
University of Chicago Press, 2018
As an anthropologist in training, Will Buckingham went to the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia with a mission to meet three sculptors: the crippled Matias Fatruan, the buffalo hunter Abraham Amelwatin, Damianus Masele, who was skilled in black magic, but who abstains out of Christian principle. Stealing with the Eyes acts as part memoir and part travelogue, and focuses on the story of these three sculptors. After getting involved with witchcraft, fever, and sickness, Buckingham questions the validity of his anthropological studies before eventually abandoning them.
Buckingham’s encounters with these sculptors also interweaves Tanimbarese history, myth, and philosophy that dates back to ancient times. This story reveals the tension between the past and future, and raises questions on how to make sense of a world that is in constant flux.
Will Buckingham is a writer of fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. He is currently a reader in Writing and Creativity at the Faculty of Humanities at De Montfort University and the author of Sixty-Four Chance Pieces and Lucy and the Rocket Dog.
(Adapted from the publisher’s description)