Lord of the Village

Southeast Asia is crisscrossed with the footprints of foreigners who went there with the glorious dream of ruling a kingdom in the forest, like the hero of a Conrad tale. Most of them end up hustling condos in Phuket or Bali, or eventually head home for a real job. Warwick Purser, a tall, lanky, ginger-color man from Sydney, has made the dream a reality. Seven years ago, when the peripatetic entrepreneur established Out of Asia, Indonesia's largest exporter of handcrafted goods, he set up shop in the village of Tembi, half an hour's drive from Yogyakarta. Today, Purser rules as the...

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