Shortlisted for Singapore Literature Prize 2016 (English Fiction)
Mohamed Latiff Mohamed
Former political detainee and professor Pak Karman loses his wife in a car accident. The intensity of his mourning causes him to become untethered from his sanity. As reality, memory and fantasy become more and more blurred, he must come to terms with his past actions before his grief overwhelms him completely. Mohamed Latiff Mohamed’s novel, hailed as a landmark in modernist Malay fiction, is an unsettling tale of psychic disintegration and obsessive love.
“Latiff’s writings are suffused with universal humanism and a rich lyricism. A powerful writer, he is also one of Singapore’s most distinguished and lauded writers. An outstanding literary talent.”
—National Arts Council, Cultural Medallion & Young Artist Award 2013
“The novel is dense, feverish and emotional - and it probably speaks most clearly to someone who's suffered a similar loss... Latiff takes a slice of history and hops into the rabbit hole, that strange and wonderful place where creative imaginations are fed.”
—Helmi Yusof, The Business Times
“The Widower also effectively critiques present-day society - specifically (without getting overtly specific ...) in Singapore, but also in countries that have modernised (and not) in similar fashion. By making it a very personal tale, about loss at its most personal and intimate, Mohamed can unobtrusively stretch his subject-matter and make it a much more far-reaching tale. Stylistically impressive and compact, The Widower is a striking little work.”
— M.A.Orthofer, The Complete Review
“He is a writer committed to concrete and moral realism, yet very pronounced in playing with the imageries of satire and symbolism so as to create a literature worthy to be named as emblematic of human conscience against dehumanisation. His commitment to address the community’s spiritual, psychological, historical and moral needs is undisputed. To acknowledge this is the start of recognising a literature to build humanity, and Latiff is surely one of its master builders.”
—Dr Azhar Ibrahim, Lecturer in Malay Studies, National University of Singapore
About the Author:
Mohamed Latiff Mohamed is one of the most prolific writers to come after the first generation of writers in the Singapore Malay literary scene. His many accolades include the Montblanc-NUS Centre for the Arts Literary Award (1998), the SEA Write award (2002), the Tun Seri Lanang Award, Malay Language Council Singapore, Ministry of Communication, Information and Arts (2003), the National Arts Council Special Recognition Award (2009), the Cultural Medallion (2013), and the Singapore Literature Prize in 2004, 2006 and 2008. His works revolve around the life and struggles of the Malay community in post-independence Singapore, and have been translated into Chinese, English, German and Korean.
Size: 152 x 225mm
Published: May 2015
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