Although Stephen had considered a career in the arts, he opted instead for business school and joined Bank of America’s International Department. Speaking good Spanish at the time, he was bewildered—but not entirely surprised—when he was assigned to the Asia Division and later transferred to Indonesia. His banking career involved assignments in Jakarta, Singapore, London, East Africa and Chicago. He describes Chicago as the most dangerous, Singapore the cleanest.

Despite his initial misgivings, Stephen found living in Asia fascinating, frustrating, and life threatening at times. Inspired by Paul Theroux’s Asian collection, The Counsel’s File, Stephen has written a collection of short stories centered in Southeast Asia. EastLit, the online journal promoting English literature on South and South East Asia, published two of Stephen’s stories in 2014: “Raju” and “A Complete Overhaul” (which made EastLit’s list of Top Thirty of Asian popular literature):

East Lit banner image.png

East Lit

Creative Writing, Literature and Art focused on East and South East Asia

https://www.eastlit.com/eastlit-september-2014/eastlit-september-2014-content/raju/

https://www.eastlit.com/eastlit-march-2014/eastlit-march-2014-content/complete-overhaul/

I loved “A Complete Overhaul.” It’s so vividly written that the images jump off the page and seem so real. With “Raju" I was entranced with the wonderful humor and poignancy. --- Lenore K.

 Just read the two stories in EastLit, they were delightful.  I can especially relate to them having lived in Jakarta for three years and visited there and East Java regularly for the last 30+ years.  --- Patrick T.

 “A Complete Overhaul” is not excessively embellished but paints a clear picture of this time and place, and these people and their Peugeot project in the courtyard. --- Christine N.


“Snake Charmed” was published in Gem Street: Collector’s Edition 2014, a print-only anthology by Labello Press in Ireland; Stephen received Labello’s Excellence in Contemporary Narrative Award.

“Snake Charmed” was a pleasure to read and was very funny. --- Bill H.

This was a wonderfully evocative piece. One actually felt the "Mad Dogs & Englishman” heat and mood. --- Mary Lou M.

I was greatly impressed with your ability to convey context and mood. The descriptions of the climate and ambiance of Java and the whole context for this story were very impressive. --- Rick C.