About Megan Jennaway

Megan Jennaway is a writer and anthropologist who has received acclaim for her short stories. She has travelled widely throughout Asia and Europe. Much of her writing is based upon the places she has visited and the societies in which she has worked, notably Bali, Timor Leste and India. In 2002, her ethnography of the lives of Balinese peasant women, ‘Sisters and Lovers: Women and Desire in Bali’, was published by Rowman & Littlefield. Two of her latest short stories were published in the 2018 anthology of travellers’ tales, ‘Crazy Shit in Asia’, published by New Holland. She lives in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia.

About One Eye on Utopia

One Eye on Utopia: Born just before Federation, Cameron Kirby’s long life tracks the defining events and movements of the early twentieth century. But it ends, along with his revolutionary socialist ideals, in futility. His idyllic childhood shatters when a revenge attack by local blacks drives the family out of their utopian Christian commune.

The family moves to inner-city Sydney, where grinding poverty is only slightly relieved by Cam’s winning a scholarship to the Julian Ashton Academy of Art. Almost rendered blind by his poorly-remunerated work in a cigarette factory, Cam volunteers for WWI and loses an eye in battle. He becomes a committed Pacifist and bases himself in London where he comes into contact with some seminal influences: Yehudi Menuhin, Jessica Mitford, George Bernard Shaw, Paul Robeson.

He rallies against Oswald Moseley and the rise of Fascism but returns home for the outbreak of WWII. His affiliation with the Communist Party of Australia earns him both a stint in gaol and the condemnation of his wife, Evelyn. Just as his (socialist) idealism is almost spent a different vision of utopia materialises when the woman he was never permitted to love, the Georgian dancer, Yelena Kuraveti, finally tracks him down.