All text in English.
About the book
A novel about Malaysia which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt prize, originally written in French.
About the author (from Wikipedia):
Henri Fauconnier (1879-1973) was a French writer, known mainly for his novel, Malaysia, which won the Prix Goncourt in 1930. He was part of the Groupe de Barbezieux.
He left from Marseille, March 10, 1905. On a stopover in Singapore, a month later, he decided to leave for the Borneo rubber plantations of Malaysia, which seemed more promising. He got an internship at his expense to a planter Klang near Kuala Lumpur so that he could learn the craft and the two essential languages, Malay and Tamil. In August, he discovered the location where he would eventually open his own plantation, in fertile land located on the distant hills beyond the Selangor River. He obtained a grant of 600 acres (2.4 km2) and settled in Rantau Panjang in early 1906, when he built his first “Maison des Palmes”. He loved all people, places, landscapes, hard work, the climate, life and ‘la vie’. In 1908, he founded at Brussels the “Plantation Fauconnier & Posth”, with the assistance of the banker Adrian Hallet. He converted all he had in stocks and founder shares. Some friends joined the Charente to help expand its plantations. His grew wealthy with a doubling in the price of rubber in two years and the tripling of the value of its shares in the single year 1910. He was then chief of the Hallet plantation group, in the Far East (Sumatra, Java, Indochina and Malaysia). In 1911, on an idea of Hallet, he sent a few bags of seeds of palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) from Sumatra to Malaysia which would grow into the vast plantations of Malaysia. He established Tennamaram near Rantau Panjang, the first plantation of palm oil from Malaysia. After several visits to Malaysia, his family joined him there to settle. But, he felt that a page in his life had turned: material success was assured, and it had only been a means to an end. Keeping an eye on the plantation, he arranged to delegate his powers so that he might finally devote himself to writing.