Review: 1960s Sembawang depicted through ordinary lives

In this edition of Book Box, The Sunday Times reads up on neighbourhoods and the people who live in them, from the meta-cinematic Chinatown of National Book Award winner Charles Yu to Sembawang in the 1960s

Author Kamaladevi Aravindan with her daughter and translator Anitha Devi Pillai. PHOTO: ANITHA DEVI PILLAI
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

At the end of her author's note, Kamaladevi describes the novel as her attempt to capture, among other things, "the life experiences of many from my soil".

And she has pulled it off, telling in riveting fashion the stories of Tamil and Malayalee men and women in 1960s Sembawang and conjuring up the texture of their lived experiences.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 07, 2021, with the headline Review: 1960s Sembawang depicted through ordinary lives. Subscribe