by Wong Yoon Wah
translation by Ho Lian Geok and Ng Yi-Sheng
The poems in The New Village were written in 1996 and 1997 in Iowa City, the University of Wisconsin – where Wong did his doctorate – and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Wong’s childhood and adolescence were spent in turbulent times: the Japanese Occupation and the Malayan Emergency, the armed struggle mounted by the MCP. Their histories generated a significant part of the substance of his poetry, organised under the six parts of The New Village. The poems depict life in Malaya’s tropical rainforest and a British colony – whether a plant, prawn crackers, being issued with an Identity Card when he turned 12, or a hand grenade lying among fruits in a basket.
About the Author
A notable figure in the Chinese literary Commonwealth, Wong Yoon Wah is known for his work on its Southeast Asian tributaries. This volume highlights his experiences growing up in the period of the Malayan Emergency. Born in 1941 in the then British Malaya, he obtained his postgraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin. As an academic at the National University of Singapore and Taiwan’s Yuan Ze University, Wong is a scholar of Chinese literatures and comparative literature. Wong is now Senior Vice-President of Southern College in Malaysia. The Southern College, first established 30 years ago, has been approved recently by Malaysia’s Ministry of Education to be upgraded to a full university. Wong has won many literary awards, including the Singapore Cultural Medallion, the ASEAN Cultural Award (in literature) and the Southeast Asia Write Award. His creative works are in prose and poetry, including Beyond Symbols, Taste of Durian and Cultural Landscape.
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Dimension: 120mm x 200mm