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Title When Singapore was Syonan-To  
ISBN 978 981 4794 27 5
Imprint Marshall Cavendish Editions
N. I. Low
Specifications 198 mm x 130 mm / 136 pp / paperback
Publication Date Sep-2017
Target Audience General
Price (SGD) SGD 14.95 BUY NOW
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About the Book

A man may outlive a thousand sorrows or a thousand joys but that is all a fairy-tale to a listener. Our lives are real for ourselves alone. To the young people of today, what happened more than 75 years ago may seem but a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing to them.

Yet what happened at the concentration camps, the massacre on Changi Beach, the round-up of ‘comfort’ girls, the activities of the black marketeers, life as a servant of the Japanese Government, the story of Lim Bo Seng… are all too real. Many ask of history that it should buttress their own prejudices. But in this book N.I. Low depicts the period 1942-45 with impeccable accuracy, with sharp insight and pathos.

As the late Victor Purcell wrote, this is more than a graphic account of a grim period; it is a distinctive and very unusual piece of writing — a combination of the English outlook with that peculiar Chinese satire that does not culminate in a razor’s edge, but ends in a sort of wry resignation.

About the Author

N. I. Low was born in a village in Foochow in 1900 and his family later migrated to Singapore. He was orphaned at the age of nine, his parents dying of cholera within six days of each other. An Englishman paid for his schooling. He was awarded a Straits Settlements Government Scholarship and became a teacher, then principal, and lecturer at the Teachers’ Training College. His book is largely based on This Singapore, published in 1947. Much of the material was contributed by the late Cheng Hui Ming, who was Assistant to the Secretary for Chinese Affairs in Singapore and had access to information not available to the general public.
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