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A Woman of Independence

eBook $16.99

$16.99

$16.99

From her first visit to East Timor in 1990, Kirsty Sword fell in love with the country and its people and became determined to help them in their seemingly hopeless struggle for independence. Little did she know then where her passion for the cause would lead her.

Over the next decade, Kirsty worked as an undercover activist in Jakarta, becoming an increasingly valuable operative within the East Timorese independence movement. In 1994 her work brought her into contact with the jailed leader of the resistance movement, the charismatic Xanana Gusmao. Through their letters, smuggled in and out his prison, they fell in love. This unlikely but remarkable romance, no less passionate for their being so forcibly separated, was further tested when Kirsty was compelled to flee Indonesia one step ahead of its feared intelligence service. It was not until the fall of President Suharto and Xanana's subsequent release from prison that Kirsty was finally reunited with the revered independence leader.

Working beside Xanana, Kirsty found herself at the very centre of the epic events that saw East Timor freed from Indonesian occupation: the vote for independence, the militia groups' murderous rampage that followed, the intervention of Australian and international peacekeeping forces, and the slow and painful rebuilding of a devastated country. Today, the former guerrilla commander and the activist live together as president and first lady, with their two children, in a country where fear has been replaced by hope.

A Woman of Independence is the story of an incredible love affair, and the passion and courage it takes to free a nation.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781742624020
  • Format: eBook
  • Pub Date: 10/11/2007
  • Category: Biography & True Stories / Biography: general
  • Imprint: Macmillan Australia
  • Price: $16.99

From her first visit to East Timor in 1990, Kirsty Sword fell in love with the country and its people and became determined to help them in their seemingly hopeless struggle for independence. Little did she know then where her passion for the cause would lead her.

Over the next decade, Kirsty worked as an undercover activist in Jakarta, becoming an increasingly valuable operative within the East Timorese independence movement. In 1994 her work brought her into contact with the jailed leader of the resistance movement, the charismatic Xanana Gusmao. Through their letters, smuggled in and out his prison, they fell in love. This unlikely but remarkable romance, no less passionate for their being so forcibly separated, was further tested when Kirsty was compelled to flee Indonesia one step ahead of its feared intelligence service. It was not until the fall of President Suharto and Xanana's subsequent release from prison that Kirsty was finally reunited with the revered independence leader.

Working beside Xanana, Kirsty found herself at the very centre of the epic events that saw East Timor freed from Indonesian occupation: the vote for independence, the militia groups' murderous rampage that followed, the intervention of Australian and international peacekeeping forces, and the slow and painful rebuilding of a devastated country. Today, the former guerrilla commander and the activist live together as president and first lady, with their two children, in a country where fear has been replaced by hope.

A Woman of Independence is the story of an incredible love affair, and the passion and courage it takes to free a nation.

Author Information

Kirsty Sword Gusmao was born in Bendigo, Victoria. She studied Indonesian at university, and later taught English in Jakarta as a cover for her work for the East Timorese resistance movement. She is married to Xanana Gusmao, now the president of East Timor, and has two young children.

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