Fiction: Cultural Medallion
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|Flowers at Dawn
Singai Ma Elangkannan
Translated from the Tamil by A.R. Venkatachalapathy
War is looming when Anbarasan arrives in Singapore from Tamil Nadu in the 1940s. Stirred by charismatic Indian National Army leader Subhas Chandra Bose to take up the struggle for India’s independence, he fights alongside the Japanese against the British in Southeast Asia. In this moving novel of an early immigrant’s political and sexual awakening during World War II, Flowers at Dawn uncovers a little-known period of Singapore’s history with drama and realism.
About the Cultural Medallionist:
Under the pen name Singai Ma Elangkannan, M. Balakrishnan has written six collections of short stories and six novels. His work has previously been translated into English and Malay, telecast on Radio Singapore and made into a television drama. A winner of both local and international short story writing competitions, Balakrishnan was the first Tamil writer to receive the S.E.A. Write Award in 1982. He has won the Tamizhavel Award (Gold), the Singapore Literature Prize and Singapore’s Cultural Medallion.
About the Translator:
A.R. Venkatachalapathy is Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. He has taught at universities in Tirunelveli, Chennai, Chicago, and held the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies at the National University of Singapore, as well as fellowships in Paris, Cambridge, and Harvard. Published widely, both in English and Tamil, on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamil Nadu, he translates between English and Tamil.
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