Confrontation: A Novel

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9789810755577: Confrontation: A Novel
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Adi loves his life in the kampung: climbing the ancient banyan tree, watching ten-cent movies with his friends, fetching worms for the village bomoh. The residents of Kampung Pak Buyung may not have many material goods, but their simple lives are happy. However, looming on the horizon are political upheaval, race riots, gang wars and the Konfrontasi with Indonesia. Mohamed Latiff Mohamed, three-time winner of the Singapore Literature Prize, brilliantly dramatises the period of uncertainty and change in the years leading up to Singapore's merger with Malaya. Seen through the unique perspective of the young Malay boy Adi, this fundamental period in Singaporean history is brought to life with masterful empathy. In the tradition of Ben Okri's The Famished Road and Anita Desai's The Village by the Sea, Confrontation is an incredible evocation of village life and of the consequences that come from political alignment and re-alignment. Translated for the first time into English from the Malay.

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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), 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. The original Malay edition of Confrontation, titled Batas Langit, was awarded Consolation Prize in 1999 for the Malay Literary Award organised by Singapore Malay Language Council, and selected in 2005 for the READ! Singapore nationwide reading initiative organised by National Library Board.

Review:

Confrontation is a 'must-read' for anyone keen to experience the anxiety and loss of the Malay community leading up to the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. Latiff's deep exploration of shattered dreams and alienation in one's own land recalls a time and place that no longer exists, with characters who are indelibly memorable. --Isa Kamari, Cultural Medallion winner and author of Intercession

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 dehumanization. His commitment to address the community's spiritual, psychological, historical and moral needs is undisputed. To acknowledge this is the start of recognizing a literature to build humanity, and Latiff is surely one of its master builders. --Dr Azhar Ibrahim Alwee (Singapore) Lecturer in Malay Studies, National University of Singapore

Mohamed Latiff Mohamed has whipped up a sense of nostalgia towards something that should not have been gone. He succeeds in presenting lost time just as writers such as Kipling succeeded in representing an exotic world --Professor Emeritus Dr Budi Darma (Indonesia), Surabaya State University

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