The Mutes in the Sun – Lee Kok Liang (signed)


The Mutes in the Sun – Lee Kok Liang (signed)


Title: The Mutes in the Sun and Other Stories

Author: Lee Kok Liang

Publisher: Heinemann Educational Book (Asia), Hong Kong, 1974.

Condition: Paperback. Inscribed by the author on title page. Good. Some creasing to cover, small inscription to ffep, and bookseller’s stamp to title page. Edges slightly tanned. 182pp.

About the book:

This captivating and original book contains 5 short stories, followed by a novel of around 100 pages and notes, with 3 more miniature stories. Lee Kok Liang, the Malaysian Chinese author, deals with incidents of everyday life but his eyes are firmly fixed on the complexities of human destiny.

About the author (from Goodreads):

Lee Kok Liang (1927-1992) was a man of diverse accomplishments in literature, law and politics. Born at Alor Star, Kedah in 1927, the son of a fourth-generation Straits-Chinese father and a mother whose culture was a mixture of Siamese, Chinese and Malay influences, his paternal grandfather was Chinese Secretary of the Kedah Sultunate, and his maternal grandfather a Chinese Kapitan to the Malay Sultan of Kedah. Lee’s discrete cultural heritage and schooling in Malaya’s Chinese, Japanese, English and Malay education systems in the 1930s and 1940s, together with his university education in Australia and England, provide the foundation for the poly-ethnic settings and themes of his prose fiction and his angst-ridden narratives of displacement and alienation. A solicitor who often represented oppressed minorities and the underprivileged in Penang society, and a one-time Labour Member of the Tanjung State Assembly, his writing closely mirrors his cross-racial experiences at home and abroad while showing a deep fascination with, and abhorrence of, cultural elitism and human suffering.

Lee’s artistic and professional careers parallel Malaysia’s own traumatic transition from British colony to emergent nation. Along with other noted Malaysian English-language writers, including K.S. Maniam, Lloyd Fernando, and expatriate writers such as Shirley Lim, his writing redresses previous rigid Eurocentric notions of power to create more protean senses of individual, cultural and national identities.

(Extracted from “Submerging Pasts: Lee Kok Liang’s London Does Not Belong To Me” by Bernard Wilson, Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London, Volume 1 Number 1, March 2003.)