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Since then, the two countries have developed along their own paths. Malaysia has given preference to the majority of Malay Muslims — the bumiputera, or sons of the soil. Singapore, meanwhile, has tried to build a meritocracy — ostensibly color-blind, yet more encouraging perhaps to some Singaporeans than to others. How have these policies affected ordinary people? How do these two divergent nations and their peoples now see each other and the world around them?

In Malaysia, Lu See is ordered to marry a fat, one-eyed banker whom she loathes. When the dream dissolves in tragedy only her life-sustaining friendship with the Tibetan maid, Sum Sum, saves her; but then Sum Sum disappears, leaving a gift of unbearable poignancy.

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Returning to Malaysia, Lu See survives the Japanese occupation and Communist insurgency but, as her life approaches its end, knows she must find Sum Sum and become reconciled once more. From Cambridge to Malaysia and a nunnery in the mountains of Tibet, The House of Trembling Leaves is the timeless story of two mothers and a daughter, of war and survival, but most of all of an undying friendship. There are 14 short stories and one essay about the seedy, the sinister and sometimes the spooky. You will find murder, drug-dealing, kidnapping, sexual depravity, prostitution, celebrity secrets, suicides, academic rivalry, gangsters, police brutality, cannibalism, black magic, creepy rituals, political corruption and even busking.

Well, maybe the cannibalism is. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound. Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family.

Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price. What happens when a mother and her daughters are separated, and who do they become when they believe it might be forever? Malaya The telephone line is dead. Gary is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control. He has long harboured a crush on Yinghui, who has reinvented herself from a poetry-loving, left-wing activist to a successful Shanghai businesswoman.

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She is about to make a deal with the shadowy figure of Walter Chao, the five-star billionaire of the novel, who — with his secrets and his schemes — has a hand in the lives of each of the characters. Hungry in Ipoh compiles 15 short stories based on Ipoh—a city famous for its delicacies. These are tales about different people—both locals and outsiders, from the past and the present—and their connection to the city. Every writer was free to explore the theme however they wanted, while still maintaining the grittiness, bravado, and spirit of pulp fiction the publisher is in famous for.

Above all else, this anthology celebrates the diversity of Ipoh. Some are mouth-watering, while others can be stomach-churning. Facing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya—and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.


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Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man. Together, they have ten children.

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In Japanese-occupied Malaya, lives are shattered and a woman discovers her inner strength in a world ravaged by war. Now that the British have fled and the Japanese have conquered, their once-benign world changes overnight. Challenged in ways she never could have imagined and forced into hiding, Mei Foong finds a deep reservoir of resilience she did not know she had and soon draws the attentions of another man.

Only when peace returns to Malaya will she learn the full price she must pay for survival. Journalist Delonix Regia chances upon the cultured and irresistible Omar amidst the upheaval of the Reformasi movement in Kuala Lumpur. As the city roils around them, they find solace in love, marriage, and then parenthood. But when their two-year-old daughter Alba is kidnapped, Del must confront the terrible secret of a city where babies are sold and girls trafficked. It is Bernice Chauly at her very best.

In a way, one can read the play as a question: considering we are all to die at some point, how is it we should live our lives? By subscribing to a set of moral codes that limit us, or by courting danger through unfettered individuality?

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Bernarda herself exemplifies the provincial attitudes of the village where the play is set. Though she is criticized by the mourners in the funeral scene for gossiping too freely, it is clear that other neighbors are also interested in learning each other's dirty secrets. Fear of being seen as wicked by neighbors seems to motivate Bernarda's tyranny more than any particular moral code, in fact; her biggest concern when dealing with Adela's body at the end of the play is that the neighbors have woken up.

Because of the harshness of gossip - and the physical danger that the group dynamic can cause, like with the young girl who murders her baby to avoid censure and then is herself killed - Bernarda seeks to have a squeaky clean house, unconcerned with the ironic darkness that bubbles up due to her demands. Though not an explicit part of the story, religion permeates the world of the play.


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  7. It can be understood in several ways. First, it is the primary cause of the strictures that lead to repression. The play opens immediately after a visit to the church for the funeral, and Bernarda expresses her belief that the church is the only place where women can look at men, suggesting that sexuality can only be hinted at in the confines of extreme respectability.

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    Further, the church-related sacrament of marriage is understood to be the only outlet for a woman to show love for a man. Prudencia 's visit in Act III poses the influence of religion as a larger duplicity that society uses to hide itself. Prudencia goes to church to deal with her sadness and shame over having banished her daughter, suggesting that it can be used as a salve for us to avoid action in her case, opposing her husband's wishes to banish their daughter.

    Of course, as Prudencia is soon to leave her church ritual because she is being mocked there, Lorca again reminds us that as an institution of man, religion is subject to the pettiness of man. How does La casa de Bernarda Alba end? How does the conversation between La Poncia and the servant shape our impression of Bernarda in Act 1? Yes, in a sense it is, as this drama revolves around great amounts of sexual tension, conflicts between the five sisters, jealousy, and an almost competiveness at times.

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