Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Enchanted Prison

Thought this was an interesting in the piece by Himanshu Bhatt in the NST on Sunday about a historical novel by Malkiat Singh Lopo (left) which:

... chronicles the little-known story of the pioneering Sikhs in Malaya and the emotional process of attachment towards their new homeland. ... The Enchanted Prison ... chronicles the early hardships, predicaments and successes of the Sikhs who, like other communities, helped propel Malaysia to the modern industrialised land it is today.

Malaya was the first country outside the Indian subcontinent that Sikhs emigrated to. ... It was referred to as the golden cage or a heavenly prison. It was a prison because one was so enchanted by this foreign country that you were unable to return to your own homeland. ... When the first immigrants came here, they viewed Punjab with nostalgia and longing. But when they returned there years later, it had become a strange country!
The novel is available at the office of Malaya Samachar, 2nd floor, Wisma Tatt Khalsa, 24 Jalan Raja Alang, 50300 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-26930735; 012- 3690673 (Hari Singh). E-mail:

But it would be good it if could be more widely available. As Himanshu Bhatt says:
Though specific to a particular ethnic community, the novel is easily one of the most insightful works of historical literature to have come out of Malaysia in the last few years.


Jane Sunshine said...

Isn't sad that such an important slice of Malaysian history is not being stocked in mainstream bookshops? I am getting a copy for sure.

bibliobibuli said...

it's the other way round, jane.

the author/ publishers need to get the book out to other places to sell them! i asked raman at silverfish if he could get a copy of it for me and he hadn't even heard of it! (he promised to contact the journalist) mph is extremely supportive of self-published writers. i'm always happy to mention a locally published novel on my blog. (and i'm sure others would do the same)

but the author/ publisher needs to make the first approach

i'm sure the article created interest but i really doubt that potential buyers are going to go out of their way to pick up a copy

Jane Sunshine said...

okay, it's good to know that mph supports such initiatives. i just hope that the writer consider the option.

Anonymous said...

i am prmeet ,the grandson of the writer .i feel very happy that my grandfathers novel well-liked by people.evern i said this to my grandfather about putting the books in alibrary or maybe rm 20.