Flowers at dawn
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War is looming when Anbarasan arrives in Singapore from Tamil Nadu in the 1940s. Stirred by charismatic Indian National Army leader Subhas Chandra Bose to take up the struggle for India’s independence, he fights alongside the Japanese against the British in Southeast Asia. In this moving novel of an early immigrant’s political and sexual awakening during World War II, Flowers at Dawn uncovers a little-known period of Singapore’s history with drama and realism. M. Balakrishnan has written six collections of short stories and six novels in Tamil under the pen name, Singai Ma Elangkannan. His work has been translated into English and Malay, broadcast on radio and made into a television drama. A winner of both local and international short story writing competitions, Balakrishnan was the first Tamil writer to receive the S.E.A. Write Award in 1982. He has won the Tamizhavel Award (Gold) and the Singapore Literature Prize. He was awarded Singapore’s Cultural Medallion in 2005. A.R. Venkatachalapathy, a professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, has held the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ Chair of Indian Studies at the National University of Singapore. He is published widely, both in English and Tamil, on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamil Nadu.
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