… novel that is interwoven with history.
Playing Madame Mao
Singaporean author Lau Siew recently wrote her first novel, “Playing Madame Mao”, and it is already being compared to the Gabriel Garcia’s Nobel Prize winning book, “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. Lau deals with a period of time that is still fresh in our memories, “the 1987 communist purge in Singapore, considered “one of the most controversial periods of Singapore’s past (2002).”
It is widely believed in the Western world that people have the right to their views on how they should live their lives. However, as evidenced in …
… an opposing view. In 1987, the Internal Security Department arrested and imprisoned 22 people without a trial for subversion. Lau shows us that even with government oppression, the sense of freedom is still strong in most people. One of her characters, Tang Na
Juan, is arrested for expressing his views in articles that are antigovernment. After being tortured
in prison, he commits suicide, striving for the ultimate freedom. Existentialism is shown here by Juan’s beliefs and his decision on whether or not to continue living a tortured life.
Unlike most Singaporean novels that deal only with the angst the …