Translated from the Malay by Alfian Sa’at
From Isa Kamari comes a masterful tale of success and failure, which has been translated for the first time into English by Alfian Sa’at, his debut work of translation.
A successful architect visits the new skyscraper he designed. As he climbs the tower with Ilham, his clerk of works, he reflects upon his life and spiritual journey in an increasingly materialistic world.
Memories of a dark past plague him as he struggles to reach the top, which are woven into the narrative as a series of fables and elliptical digressions, mirroring his own increasingly fractured state of mind.
About the Cultural Medallionist:
Isa Kamari has written eight novels in Malay, many of which have been translated into English. He has published collections of poems, short stories and plays. He also writes drama serials and documentaries for television. His awards include the S.E.A. Write Award, Singapore’s Cultural Medallion and the Anugerah Tun Seri Lanang. He has a degree in Architecture from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Philosophy in Malay Letters from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
About the Translator:
Alfian Sa’at is the resident playwright of Wild Rice. He is a two-time winner of The Straits Times Life! Theatre Award for Best Original Script, and a recipient of the Golden Point Award for Poetry and the Young Artist Award for Literature. His works include collections of plays, the poetry collections One Fierce Hour and A History of Amnesia, and the short story collections Corridor and Malay Sketches.
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: October 2013