Author: Risal Pena Catalina

Book Review | Paul Callan’s The Brigadier’s Daughter

Author: Paul Callan Publisher: Epigram Books Page numbers: 256 How historically accurate should historical fiction be? The label ‘historical fiction’ is somewhat paradoxical: fiction is untrue, whereas history is a narrative connecting events and occurrences that are true. The genre has included a large range of literary works with varied treatment of accuracy, and how well a work of historical fiction is received will depend on how much history its readers expect to find. This is the basis for both my praise and criticism of The Brigadier’s Daughter, Paul Callan’s third work of historical fiction set in Malaysia (or...

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Book Review | Bernice Chauly’s Once We Were There

Author: Bernice Chauly Publisher: Epigram Books Page numbers: 351 Bernice Chauly’s Once We Were There is a love letter and a scathing, unflinching criticism of Kuala Lumpur’s liberal, politically aware, but ultimately hedonistic and self-indulgent of community of upper-middle class professionals who desire political reformation but are unable to deliver it. I first learned that Bernice Chauly was writing ‘a novel about the Reformasi’ at the London Book Fair. I’d already been living in Singapore for a few months and my time at the Fixi London booth was like a homecoming abroad, and like all homecomings it has its...

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