First published in 1956, Han Suyin’s magnificent novel about the Emergency Period in Malaya and Singapore evokes all the colour and conflict of a land where, in the late 1940s and early 50s, a bitter guerrilla war was fought between communist terrorists lurking in the Malayan jungles and British, Australian and New Zealand armed forces. With infinite sharpness and feeling, she writes about the intertwining lives of many people caught up in the clash of powerful forces. Dogged, downtrodden Chinese rubber tappers, a pretty girl called Small Cloud for whom betrayal has become a way of life, and the stiff, aloof world of the British administrators and their ‘mems’.
Commemorative Edition Forewords
- Dr Leon Comber, former husband of Han Suyin, tells the untold “inside” story of how the book came to be written (which has not been presented before), the actual source of the material which HSY used, how General Templer on one of his visits to the Colonial Office, London, attempted to have the book withdrawn, and the repercussions which followed the publishing of the book.
- Professor Kirpal Singh writes about the importance of the work in the canon of Singapore and Malaysian literature, the impact it had on local literature and the book’s relevance today.
About the author
Han Suyin is the author of over twenty books, including “A Many-Splendoured Thing”, which was made into a Hollywood film (winning six Academy Awards) and which inspired a popular song and a TV soap opera.. Han Suyin was chosen by “TIME” magazine as one of the twelve most influential “artists and thinkers” in Asia in the twentieth century.