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Living Landscapes, Connected Communities December 8, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

How does an architect talk to an actor about something an activist does? How should a teacher exchange notes with a dancer? What if this is further complicated by them not speaking the same language? The challenges are many for someone putting together a book, but in the case of editor Justine Vaz, who co-edited Living Landscapes, Connected Communitieswith Narumol Aphinives, she says that it is “probably the most difficult thing” she has ever done. “I’m…

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Remembering days of fun in the sun October 14, 2014 – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

Sometimes, we have to look through another’s eyes to see something special in the ordinary. Reading the memoirs of John Michael Broome Hughes, especially the section devoted to his time in this country, one is transported into an era where a pair of observant eyes and a powerful pen can make history come alive. The memoirs of the last British headmaster of the Penang Free School (PFS), known as Mike to his friends, is not…

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Endorsement of Living Pathways by D. Paul Schafer, Director, World Culture Project: “A remarkable, beautiful, and very valuable book” May 26, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

Living pathways: Meditations on sustainable cultures and cosmologies in Asia is a remarkable, beautiful, and very valuable book. As the author Manickam (Nat) Nadarajah points out, it can be enjoyed in many ways – visually, verbally, emotionally, and spiritually. All of these ways engage the reader and heighten his or her awareness of the importance, timeliness, and relevance of the book. Acting on the author’s advice, I leafed through the pages of the book in…

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Book Review: M. Nadarajah: Living Pathways – Posted in: Reviews

BOOK REVIEW M. Nadarajah: Living Pathways: Meditations on Sustainable Cultures and Cosmologies in Asia. Penang: Areca Books, 2013, xxi+153pp., ISBN978-967-5719-09-7 The first thing that struck me about this book, when it came to me for a review, is its visual appeal. It is layered with photographs and graphics which have, not so obvious, resonance with the themes and textual content of the book. It is pleasure to leaf through a book which has an excellent…

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“A new thing said in a new way”: Some comments on M. Nadarajah’s Living Pathways by Gaston Roberge – Posted in: Reviews

A new thing said in a new way Living Pathways, by Dr. Nadarajah Comments by Gaston Roberge, 12 April 2014 Living Pathways, the new (2013) book of our friend Dr. Nat, is new in at least four important ways: 1. The way it was created patiently involving hundreds of people. 2. The way it appears with images on nearly as many pages as the text. 3. The fact that images constitute a heart moving text…

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Reviews for Tulila: Muzik Bujukan Mandailing April 30, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

Tulila: Muzik Bujukan Mandailing. Edi Nasution. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, 2007. xx + 180 pp., photographs, maps, figures, musical ex., bibliography, index. ISBN: 978-983-42834-4-5, RM35.00. Tulila: Muzik Bujukan Mandailing (Tulila: Mandailing seduction music) is Edi Nasution’s Indonesian-language study of markusip, a disappearing, late-night, rural courtship tradition among West Sumatra’s Mandailing. In markusip, a love-struck pemuda (young man) braves nocturnal risks of the jungle to sneak up to a young woman’s dormitory (bagas podoman), where he leans his shoulder against its…

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A Magnificently Rich Tome on Early Penang March 28, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

Review by Ooi Kee Beng of Penang – The Fourth Presidency of India 1805-1830, Volume One: Ships, Men and Mansions  There are several questions about the history of Penang that have bothered me for quite a while, satisfactory responses to which cannot be found in any Malaysian schoolbook. This is not strange, given how the significance of Penang has been played down since independence for nationalistic reasons; and how national history has successively been caricatured to…

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Reviews for M. Nadarajah’s ‘Living Pathways’ February 12, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

“There is no better time for this book.” After reading Living Pathways, my first response was “This book should be placed in the hands of every head of state around the world.” Clearly, deeply and beautifully, M. Nadarajah brings us face-to-face with of the most pressing global issue of our time: the urgent need to take responsibility for the precious resource belonging to all of us, our Mother Earth. I love how Nat takes us…

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A History of Phuket: “An Absolute Must Read” March 29, 2013 – Posted in: Reviews

Review by Alasdair Forbes First, a declaration of interest: I edited an early version of Colin Mackay’s A History of Phuket and the Surrounding Region. I thought then that it was an excellent piece of work. The final product is just plain superb. Mackay spent five or six years researching the book, unearthing memoirs, official documents, love letters and even an epic poem, in Thai, English, Dutch, Russian, German, Portuguese, French, Danish, Malay and more languages.…

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“A Historical Book on Phuket” – Posted in: Reviews

COLIN Mackay’s A History of Phuket and the Surrounding Region (White Lotus, Bangkok, 2012, 418pp) is a magnificent achievement: a towering work of erudition leavened with sly humor and fascinating side-bars. While destined to be the standard reference text for the island’s history, the book is so vividly written that it deserves to be a raging best-seller. Mackay covers the early waves of migration down the Malay peninsula – Negrito, Malay, Mon, Burmese, Thai – until the dawn of empires: Funan spreading from Vietnam, Srivjaya from Sumatra and Chola from the Tamil Coromandel…

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