Stranger in Paradise

In 1930, a young artist from Mexico, by way of Manhattan, and his stunningly beautiful wife were set down by a Dutch packet steamer on the northern coast of Bali. Neither artist nor island would ever be the same. In two visits to Bali, amounting to just 20 months' residency, Miguel Covarrubias created an impressive body of drawings and paintings of the life of the island, and carried out the research for a dense 400-page book about its culture. Amazingly, Island of Bali, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1937, is still the indispensable work on the island's complex rituals and...

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