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The Merlion and the Hibiscus: Contemporary Short Stories from Singapore and Malaysia
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The Merlion and the Hibiscus: Contemporary Short Stories from Singapore and Malaysia

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The Merlion and the Hibiscus brings together the work of nineteen exceptional writers from singapore and malaysia. Written over the last fifty years, these stories reflect the richness of a multicultural society and its experience of war and colonialism. In Gopal Baratham’s, The Interview, a veteran of the Second World War looks back on his years as a Japanese prisoner of ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 15th 2003 by Penguin Group (first published January 2002)
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Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: se asians, anti-colonialists
This collection of short stories from Singapore and Malaysia was a nice read, but I just can't get that into most short stories. I did find a couple authors whose novels I want to read, however.

The stories discuss a variety of issues spanning 3 generations and several ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups on the Malayan peninsula.

I enjoyed learning more about Malaysia and Singapore, and was pleased that I was familiar with some scenery, food, and words since I've visited and studied the coun
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I'm not usually a fan of short stories but I enjoyed this book a lot! This is a lovely collection of stories, all very well-written and entertaining. It is also a wonderful introduction to Asian litterature for those who are unfamiliar with it, especially since it gives many different perspectives. The writers belong to three different generations, which also adds to the interest of the stories. The stories I enjoyed most are "Write, Right, Rite" by Catherine Lim, "The Interview" by Gopal Barath ...more
Ismim Putera
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
A good effort by the editors to compile short stories from various literary backgrounds. I enjoyed some of the stories, particularly "Bugis", "Mariah", "Neighbours", "Hungry Ghosts" and "Hamid & The Hand of Fate". Those aforementioned stories lack no substance nor character development. The rest are fairly good, although the writing style has "too much telling" rather than "showing". Some stories are heavily plague with convoluted plot, piles of pretentious description, lack of clarity and chara ...more
Fatini Zulkifli
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book reveals the plights, fears, hopes and dreams of Chinese, Malay and Indian people living in Singapore and Malaysia.

If I read this all by myself, I might have rated it 2. But Prof has taught me to read between the lines. Thus, I am enlightened on how to approach a literary text like this and thus rated it 4.

Some of the stories criticize the attitude of certain people. For example, 'Bugis' by Alfian Saat portrays the pretentious of Salmah, transgendered people and Bangladeshi man at Bugi
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Having read only two of the many short stories in this book, what I could possibly say is that we often ignore our own kind of literature since it is less commercialized, or in my case, just recently found out about mlie writers though they are equally talented if not better from other writers. I wish their works would be more recognized by the public for is it really fascinating to read the works revolving our own culture, religion, nation -- all in such a precise and beautiful words.
Nick Klagge
Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Overall this was a pretty strong collection of short stories, with only one or two that I thought were bad and a few that were really superb. The standouts for me were "My Cousin Tim" by Simon Tay and "Surja Singh" by Lloyd Fernando--I'll definitely be looking for more books by these authors. ...more
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great compilation of short stories. It introduced me to Malaysian literature.
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