Sunday, October 4, 2009

More titles from Selections No. 96

Here are three more titles from our recent Selections Issue No. 96. They have been deliberately chosen to be as different from each other as possible, other than their Asian theme!
  • Colonialism, Violence And Muslims In Southeast Asia: The Maria Hertogh Controversy And Its Aftermath by Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied. This book deals with the genesis, outbreak and far-reaching effects of a legal controversy and the resulting outbreak of mass violence, which determined the course of British colonial rule after post World War Two in Singapore and Malaya. Based on extensive archival sources, it examines the custody hearing of Maria Hertogh, a case which exposed tensions between Malay and Singaporean Muslims and British colonial society. Investigating the wide-ranging effects and crises faced in the aftermath of the riots, the analysis focuses in particular on the restoration of peace and rebuilding of society. The author provides a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of British management of riots and mass violence in Southeast Asia. By exploring the responses by non-British communities in Singapore, Malaya and the wider Muslim world to the Maria Hertogh controversy, he shows that British strategies and policies can be better understood through the themes of resistance and collaboration. Furthermore, the book argues that British enactment of laws pertaining to the management of religions in the post-war period had dispossessed religious minorities of their perceived religious rights. As a result, outbreaks of mass violence and continual grievances ensued in the final years of British colonial rule in Southeast Asia - and these tensions still pertain in the present.
  • In The Footsteps Of Stamford Raffles by Nigel Barley. Stamford Raffles is that rarest of things - a colonial figure who is forgotten at home but still remembered with affection abroad. Born into genteel poverty in 1781, he joined the East India Company at the age of fourteen and worked his way up to become Lieutenant Governor of Java when the British seized that island for some five years in 1811. There he fell in love with all things Javanese and vaunted it as a place of civilisation as he discovered himself a man of science as well as commerce. A humane and ever-curious figure, his administration was a period of energetic reform and boisterous research that culminated in his History of Java in 1817 and it remains the starting-point of all subsequent studies of Indonesian culture. In this book, part history, part travelogue, Nigel Barley re-visits the places that were important in the life of Stamford Raffles and evaluates his heritage in an account that is both humorous and insightful. Originally published in 2001, this book has now been updated.
  • A Taste For Green Tangerines: A Saucy Romp Through The Rainforest by Barbara Bisco. Disillusioned with her London life, anthropologist Bethany Parker takes a last minute offer to help build an eco resort in the Indonesian rainforest, trading cappuccinos, a lacklustre boyfriend and her one bedroom flat for mosquito nets, longhouses and an international team of environmentalists. Thrust into a lush, colourful and sometimes brutal world of tribal traditions, tensions and struggles between east and west, Bethany is forced to learn about herself as she learns about Borneo. A Taste for Green Tangerines was the No. 1 bestseller at Foyles for three consecutive weeks when it was launched.
This last title is distributed by Select Books, and it illustrates the expansion in our distribution business. In addition to the more serious, academic titles that we have always been strong in, we are now representing more mass-market titles, and we are pleased to be able to distribute a quality title like A Taste for Green Tangerines.

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