Pak Suleh was the penghulu of Pulau Sebidang, one of the influential village headmen of the islands of the South. Forced to relocate to a small high-rise flat on mainland Singapore, he worries for the future of his family and yearns for his beloved island. A powerful meditation on loss, Penghulu is a portrait of a man struggling to return to his old way of life. But can Pak Suleh thwart the plans of his son-in-law, a newly elected member of parliament from the ruling party? Will the penghulu return to his island?
“He is a writer critical of apathy, excessive individuality and a human life bereft of spirituality. Undoubtedly, he is today one of the leading Singaporean Malay writers whose works are well received both nationally and regionally.”
—Dr Azhar Ibrahim, National University of Singapore
About the Cultural Medallionist
Born in 1930 in Pasir Panjang, Singapore, Suratman Markasan completed his studies at Sultan Idris Training College in 1950, before joining the teaching service and enrolling in Nanyang University, where he majored in Malay and Indonesian Studies. He was appointed Assistant Director for Malay and Tamil studies at the Ministry of Education and lectured at the Institute of Education until 1995. He has received the S.E.A. Write Award, the Montblanc-NUS Centre for the Arts Literary Award, the Tun Seri Lanang Literary Award and Singapore’s Cultural Medallion.
About the Translator
Solehah Ishak is Professor of Theatre Arts, specialising in traditional and modern Malay plays. Currently she teaches at the Faculty of Film, Theatre and Animation at the University Technology MARA. She has a Ph.D. in Theatre Arts from Cornell University and has translated more than 30 Malay plays into the English language, and has also translated English and German plays into Bahasa Melayu. A recipient of the Japan Foundation Fellowship and the Sumitomo Award, she has also translated Noh plays into Bahasa Melayu.
About the Series
The Cultural Medallion is Singapore’s highest cultural award, given to those who have achieved artistic excellence in the areas of literature, dance, music, theatre and art. It was instituted in 1979 to recognise individuals whose artistic excellence and commitment to the arts have enriched and made a distinction to Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape. Epigram Books’ Cultural Medallion series seeks to translate the works of Cultural Medallion winners writing in Tamil, Malay and Chinese into English. Matching writers with some of the best translators working in the field today, these books are being made available to an English-language audience for the first time.
Size: 153 x 225mm
Published: Nov 2012
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