Man of Malaysia
In this revealing sequel to his bestselling autobiography Son of Singapore, Tan Kok Seng finds himself in Malaysia as a British diplomat’s chauffeur. While driving luminaries like author Han Suyin around, Tan falls in love with Heung, a servant girl with dark brown eyes. Despite parental objections, they marry and have a child in secret.
When he is laid off, Tan’s comfortable life suddenly collapses. To support his family, he must take on a variety of jobs, including working as a soap salesman, egg seller and extra on a William Holden film, manoeuvring through unethical bosses, corrupt policemen and violent villagers. As much a timeless account of an enterprising spirit as a travelogue through 1960s Southeast Asia, Man of Malaysia entertains and inspires while telling of a life fully lived.
“Tan Kok Seng epitomises the resilient spirit of a young nation. [He] is to be congratulated for a very sincere and frank autobiography.”
—The Straits Echo (Malaysia)
“…adopting the same successful formula of his first book [Son of Singapore]…in simple yet sensitive language, he relates without any pretension a decade of his life.”
—The New Nation (Singapore)
“This extremely lively text is more than a simple autobiography…it tells us about some of the social aspects of the present life of the Chinese in Malaysia.”
About the Author
Tan Kok Seng is the well-known author of a trilogy of books based on his life: Son of Singapore, Man of Malaysia and Eye on the World. His fourth book is a novel, originally published as Three Sisters of Sz, by Heinemann Asia in 1979.
Tan’s books were all written first in Chinese and afterwards ‘rendered into English’ in a collaborative effort with his former employer, Austin Coates, for whom Tan worked in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Although his four books had been reprinted several times since their first publication, they were out of print for many years. Son of Singapore, Man of Malaysia and Three Sisters of Sze are now available from Epigram Books.
Tan resides in Singapore with his family.
Size: 130 x 200mm
Published: January 2014
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