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Description - Breaking the Tongue by Vyvyane Loh

This brilliant novel chronicles the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in World War II. Central to the story is one Chinese family: Claude, raised to be more British than the British and ashamed of his own heritage; his father, Humphrey, whose Anglophilia blinds him to possible defeat and his wife's dalliances; and the redoubtable Grandma Siok, whose sage advice falls on deaf ears. Expatriates, spies, fifth columnists, and nationalists?ncluding the elusive young woman Ling-Li?ingle in this exotic culture as the Japanese threat looms. Beset by the horror of war and betrayal and, finally, torture, Claude must embrace his true heritage. In the extraordinary final paragraphs of the novel, the language itself breaks into Chinese. With penetrating observation, Vyvyane Loh unfolds the coming-of-age story of a young man and a nation, a story that deals with myth, race, and class, with the ways language shapes perceptions, and with the intrigue and suffering of war. Reading group guide included.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393326543
ISBN-10: 0393326543
Format: Paperback
(208mm x 140mm x 25mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 17-Mar-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Vyvyane Loh

Vyvyane Loh was born in Malaysia and grew up in Singapore. She holds undergraduate and medical degrees from Boston University, and she graduated from the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. She now lives outside Boston.