says protagonist in
The powerful, explosive, disturbing story of Singapore that explores
the dilemma of the Eurasian
Author Wilfred Hamilton-Shimmen's first novel explores the trauma of a first-generation
British-descent Eurasian who is born, raised and striving in his island-home
but who perceives that he isn't regarded as being part of the fabric of his
But he refuses to become a 'tragedy of history'.
He contends there is a glass ceiling for the Eurasian in today's Singapore
- he may aspire to a certain level of society but the 'giddy heights' of power
and finance are taboo. (In his recollection only two Eurasians ever
rose politically - one was the original Speaker of Parliament, the other became
a Government minister, and there has been no one ever since).
Seasons of Darkness also explores the dilemma of the
progency of the descendants of inter-marriages between White colonialists
and Asian women now that the European colonial has departed East and South-East
Asia forever and the 'New" nations of the East and SE Asia head into
the future centuries.
Anyone who is familiar with East Asia, (the Far East), is aware of
the highly-successful 'economic miracle' that is the island Singapore.
This explosive, disturbing story is a facet of the many-sided face
of the former Malay island, on the brink of the Riau Archipelago,
that the world would have no inkling of.
This is the story of a British-descent Eurasian -- born, raised and
striving in his island-home, perceiving that he isn't regarded as
part of the fabric of his country, and experiencing rejection through
racial bigotry, not only during the former British colonial era but
even after independence
Just because he is Eurasian, a 'mixture' of White and Asian. While
the other racial 'mixes' of Chinese-Malay, Malay-Indian and Indian-Chinese
appear to suffer no disadvantages.
The Eurasian protagonist sees a Singapore heading into the 21st Century
with the genuine multi-racial flavour of his society, (which had been
created by Stamford Raffles and the colonial administrators after
him), becoming a thing of the past. With the 'Overseas Chinese' kicked
out of Vietnam and other 'Overseas Chinese' in the respective South
East Asia societies in the region having to either assimilate or leave,
the Chinese-dominant Singapore Government has created a 'Sino environment'
on Singapore to attract ethnic-Chinese from abroad to settle in his
island-home, while Eurasians like him are made to feel like outcasts.
He 'witnesses' the transformation of his island into a Sino-society
- from place-names, ensuring that ethnic-Chinese hold key-posts in
government, playing up the use of Mandarin-Chinese, the switching
of dialect-names to Hanyu-Pinyin, to even the attempt to rewrite Singapore's
Malay history to intimate that the island has always had a 'Chinese-connection',
and the ignoring of Singapore's Malay history and connection.
Finally in his forties he decides to give up being a "second-class
Singaporean" of mixed descent to become English, reclaims his
English heritage which he had always submerged because very early
in life he had chosen to identify with Singapore but has since realised
that he had made an error of judgement.
Singapore is no longer his multi-racial home.
Book Review / Press
Interviews / Quotes / A
Critique / Author / Brief
History / Order