THE NIGHT TIGER
By Yangsze Choo
Set in 1930’s colonial Malaysia, this is the fascinating story of superstition and ancient belief interwoven with the very different behaviours of the white plantation owners and other assorted relics of the British empire. It is, in fact, a social commentary depicting the clashing of several cultures with confusing results.
An apprentice dressmaker, decent and moralistic, takes a job in a dancehall in an attempt to pay off her mother’s debts. Her troubles are exacerbated by an incredible combination of a white doctor, a Chinese house boy, a severed finger and a tiger.
The story resembles a maze; the twists and turns of fate take us on a journey of lives we really can’t begin to imagine during a time when the colour of your skin was a huge factor in determining the path of your life. Social standing seems to be the be all and end all for everyone involved in this tale of desperation and searching.
Wonderfully rich – how marvellous and yet so sad it would be to go back in time and experience the period first hand.