Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Tessellated Path

Dr. Rosaly Puthucheary’s first novel, The Tessellated Path, was launched on 1 November, 2009 at the Arts House as part of the Singapore Writers Festival.

Dr. Rosaly Puthucheary received her doctorate in English Literature from the National University of Singapore. Her earlier publications were on poetry: Pillow Your Dreams (1978), The Fragmented Ego (1978), Dance on his Doorsteps (1992), Footfalls in the Rain (2008) and Mirrored Mirages (2008).

In her remarks at the book launch, Rosaly said that she had started writing the novel in 1996, just as she was approaching retirement, and had completed it substantively by 2001. While writing the novel, she became conscious of the challenges faced by writers in Singapore and Malaysia. This insight helped her to formulate the proposal for her doctoral thesis, which she started in 2002. The completed thesis has now been published by ISEAS as Different Voices: The Singaporean/Malaysian Novel.

On why she had chosen “The Tessellated Path” as the title, Rosaly said that it reflected our journeys in life. Each of our journeys is “like a mosaic pattern, with happy moments and unhappy moments; uneventful periods mixed with momentous events; adrenalin-propelled actions and lethargic inactive existence.”

Responding to a question about the deliberate weaving in of the political developments of Singapore and Malaysia into her novel, Rosaly said that it was an important aspect of the novel as it provided the context for the protagonist Lisa’s journey of self-discovery. She added that it was also subconsciously a reflection of the deep emotional and psychological impact that her two brothers’ association with these political developments had had on her as well as her family.

Here are photos from the book launch:

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