PDF EPUB and the Rain my Drink Author Han Suyin – dugisits.co.za


  • 307
  • and the Rain my Drink
  • Han Suyin
  • English
  • 27 February 2020
  • 9780224602501

Han Suyin ✓ 8 SUMMARY

SUMMARY ↠ and the Rain my Drink Nese girl Suyin falls in love with a British police officer and is able to see both sides of the war but she sympathizes with the Commu This is an important work of Malaysian literature The book was written in 1952 53 Han Suyin was living in Johor Bahru and married to the special branch officer Leon Comber involved in the Emergency so she was writing about what was happening around her in real time It is said that many of the characters are based on real people too thinly disguised Sen for example is probably based on William Kuok of the locally famous Kuok family brother of Robert Kuok one of the richest Malaysians today She didn t even bother to change the family name He became the propaganda chief for the communists and was ambushed and shot by Gurkhas in 1953 It seems both Comber and Han resigned from their positions in the colonial service following the publication of the book arising from its less than favourable depiction of the Malayan EmergencyIt is an important work because it is one of the only books in English from those turbulent times written by an outsider which tells the story of the Emergency reflecting the various perspectives of the Malayan Chinese particularly those who found themselves caught up in the undeclared war What strikes me is just how little things have changed It brings into focus the insidious role of British colonial policy in framing and shaping Malaysian politics right to the present day The new villages for example that still dot the peninsula likely intensified racial segregation in the process of de colonisation Growing up in an independent Malaysia one gets used to talk of supposed racial tensions and conflict as if Malays and Chinese are simply congenitally incapable of living together without one group trying to subjugate the other There doesn t seem to be much reflection on the roots of these issues in the colonial period and British policies formulated to service British ends For example Han lets the tycoon uo Boon speak of the exclusion felt by the Chinese educated which drove them to join the communists or to look to China as they had little prospect of fulfilling their ambitions in the colonial system being excluded from government jobs and professions reserved first for the English expatriates and then the English speaking While the government has switched to operate in the Malay language 50 years ago the logic of the system of governance has not been radically rearranged Recognition of the Chinese school certificates is still a current issue while the Chinese education system still seems to exist in some sort of purgatory The novel also captures the corruption as well as the disillusionment in the materialistic pursuits which were left open to the Chinese of that era themes that still resonate today Her ornate style of writing is not to everyone s taste It rewards the reader who makes the effort to reconstruct in his or her mind the scenes she describes The narrative is artfully structured to build up to the sense of disenchantment with the reveal at the endIt is a remarkably rich work For a good scholarly review see Epistemological Checkpoint The Novelization of the Malayan Emergency in Han Suyin s And the Rain My Drink

SUMMARY ¸ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Han Suyinand the Rain my Drink

SUMMARY ↠ and the Rain my Drink Nist guerrillas and is critical of the British colonials A much loved classic and an important work in the canon of Singapore literatur This was a mix bag for me On the one hand there were many moments that I really enjoyed especially the way Han fleshes out some of the prominent characters particularly the cast of characters involved with the communist movement and the way she explores the dynamics between these characters and the movement during this period of political upheaval But where the novel fails for me is that it really lacks structure It is sometimes written in this omniscient third person narrator but then it jumps back into the first person where Han herself seems to be the protagonist Knowing that the book is semi autobiographical and that the characters are largely based on real people that Han encountered during her time in Malaysia explained a lot because I think the novel could have benefited if she had whittled down the characters and combined some of them into Types rather than the real peopleIt is also because of the confusing structureautobiographical nature of the book that made me wince at the flippantly racist caricatures of Malay people in the novel A little uncomfortable to read in 2020 not going to lie

CHARACTERS and the Rain my Drink

SUMMARY ↠ and the Rain my Drink It is 1948 and the British in Malaya are struggling to put down a Communist uprising and deal with rising nationalism in the colony Chi Han Suyin was deep red in political convictions and blazingly scarlet in her personal life It is with some regret then that I must acknowledge that And the Rain my Drink is an absolutely brilliant novel The topic is the Malayan Emergency of 1948 1960 which was in fact a guerilla war waged between the British based in the cities of the Malayan peninsula and Communist partisans in the jungle Published in 1956 it was written before the final outcome was known Han Suyin as a doctor in a critical care hospital and the wife of a British Police officer was in an excellent position to view events If you have no interest in Malaya you should still find the novel interesting for its description of how an urban society combats an insurgency based in the countrysideReaders will need some fortitude to cope with Han Suyin s ghastly purple prose which is particularly obtrusive in the first third of the book However as she advances her powers of observation and satire become prominent And the Rain my Drink has the great merit of improving as the reader gets deeper into itHan Suyin makes a number of important points for the reader interested in the history of the events First she makes it clear that the Communist insurgents were overwhelmingly Chinese They had learned how to fight a guerrilla war under the Japanese occupation When the WWII ended they discovered that the British had accorded virtually all positions of privilege in the new society to the Malays Conseuently they returned to the jungle to resume their fight for self determination They relied on friendly villagers for food and funded themselves through the extortion of wealthy Chinese landowners and merchantsThe British responded by interning the villagers who were helping the communists Han Suyin provides marvellous accounts of the bungling involving in the round ups and of the life in the camps The best part of her novel is her descriptions of how the British recruited informants and extracted information from them Han Suyin presents a highly negative picture of the informants who betrayed their comrades for cash and other benefits She also noted that once they ran out of real information they would invent things to keep the payments comingHan Suyin clearly disliked the Malays whose prime objective was to exclude the Chinese from political power government employment and the liberal professions While loudly proclaiming themselves to be anti colonial they were anxious that the British maintain a presence in the independent Malayan federation in order to suppress the communist Chinese insurrection Han Suyin portrayed the British administrators military officers and policemen and judges serving in Malaya as being corrupt and dimwitted Most had held positions elsewhere in the British Empire prior to coming to the region and chosen to do so because they had no prospects in EnglandPublished in 1956 And the Rain my Drink was written well before the conflict ended Perhaps wisely Suyin does not predict the outcome The fundamental weakness of the British in her view was that their operations were being funded by export duties on rubber Because of the Korean War demand for rubber was very high and very likely to fall dramatically which would have left the British without the cash to carry on The weakness of the communists was that they had virtually no support from the Malayan peasantryAnd the Rain my Drink may work better as historical analysis than as literature Its great merit is the way in which it illustrates the mechanisms through which a Western power fights an enemy based in a rural area in a third world country which is what Malaya was in the 1950s It my view it was well worth the read