The Fighting Spirit of East Timor: The life of Martinho da Costa Lopes
Pluto Press, $32.95 pb, 287 pp
As bookshops and bestseller lists fill up with new biographies about celebrities, criminals, tycoons, and sporting heroes, Pluto Press has come out with the story of a small, fat, generally unheard-of priest, Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes. Unlike the mega-books it fails completely to surprise us with the sexual preferences of the famous or inform us how to make a million dollars over lunch. Its subject, Dom Martinho, is free of such ordeals as poorly executed facelifts, nosy tax officers or greedy agents. His main concerns are cruder – how to stay alive and to help others stay alive when faced with the brutality of an oppressive, harsh regime.