Bunga Emas and Tracks of a Tramp first appeared over half a century ago, in the period after Merdeka, the Malayan Independence in 1957, when the nation, still a fledgling, had so much hope and promise. Malaysia Day, 1963, was just round the corner. Bunga Emas means tribute, as the editor explains in the glossary, an offering of Chinese and Indian writers and poets, who had made Malaysia their home, to ‘their evanescent mother culture’. This anthology of Malayan/Malaysian Literature in English, Chinese and Tamil from 1930 to 1963 (all translated into English), is something that’s never been done before, nor since. Apart from being an excellent historical record of pre- and post-independence Malaysia writing, this collection proves that good stories never grow old or tired. Although this volume is only a small sample from the period, and it will be dangerous to draw too many conclusions from it, one can’t help but admire the sheer quality, the ideas, and the craftsmanship. They might have been written half a century ago, but they sound so current. More importantly, in here are voices of the other that we seldom hear (and often ignore). A must read.
Bunga Emas (Second Edition)Literature
T Wignesan (editor)
2014. Silverfish Books
Softcover, 21.6 cm x 14 cm, 287 pages
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