Rustam A. Sani dan Alur Zamannya

Ketemu di alur zaman
Rustam A. Sani
Media Icon
2009
86

Political and social views of Malaysian prominent figures.

Sesudah meninggalnya Rustam Abdullah Sani, atau dikenal sebagai pak Rustam, ada beberapa buku terbit mengumpulkan esei-esei eceran yang tersiar di akhbar. Salah satunya ialah Ketemu di Alur Zaman terbitan Media Icon. Mungkin kini tidak ramai mengenali sosok ini yang juga waris kepada Ahmad Boestamam.

Seperti yang dicatat pada pendahuluan penerbit, buku ini menfokuskan tulisan beliau mengenai sebelas orang tokoh yang beliau kenali — tidak semesti diketahui umum.

Walau bagaimanapun boleh dikatakan setiap tokoh punyai sumbangan tersendiri kepada masyarakat, dan secara tidak langsung mencerminkan lingkungan hidup dan pergaulan pak Rustam.

Tokoh-tokoh yang beliau ulas pula boleh kita amati daripada dua golongan, sama ada teman-teman intelektual atau pemain politik semasa. Cuma sedikit ralat apabila penerbit tidak menyertakan sumber asal dan tarikh tulisan-tulisan beliau ini, yang dapat memberi konteks kepada pembaca. Namun dapat ditebak bahawa tulisan ini berlegar sekitar awal 2000-an, sewaktu peralihan kepimpinan negara daripada Tun Dr. Mahathir kepada Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Lingkungan Intelektual dan Perjuangan

Daripada tulisan mengenai sebelas tokoh ini, hampir separuh daripadanya mewakili lingkungan perjuangan yang beliau geluti. H. M Dahlan mewakili zaman akademiknya di UKM; Usman Awang dan Kassim Ahmad — intelektual yang beliau hormati; Abdul Razak Ahmad dan Syed Husin Ali ialah teman seperjuangan dalam parti.

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When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Judith Kerr
2009
192

Written by Xuelin Yeong

Following my previous book review ‘Last Night I Dreamed of Peace’, here’s a pre-war story, one more suitable for children—‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.’

The author of the book, Judith Kerr, wrote it based on her own childhood experiences. It’s considered a semi-autobiographical novel, although some parts are purely fictional.

Anna, a Jewish girl of nine, led a happy life with her parents and her elder brother Max. Her father was a famous writer who often wrote articles criticising the Nazis, while her mother is a well-to-do housewife, who never had to worry about housework as they could afford to hire people to help them. That gives an idea of how affluent their family were before the Nazis came into power.

Although Anna’s father was sometimes an impractical man, he had great foresight and knew that should the Nazis be elected, he and his family would be in great danger. Thus, he escaped to Switzerland, and arranged for his family to do so too, right before the elections. It was a wise move, as after they left their property were confiscated. In fact, the title of the book refers to Anna’s favourite toy that was taken away along with everything else.

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Last Night I Dreamt of Peace

Written by Xueling Yeong

Peace.

In some countries, it is an ever-present entity, sometimes taken for granted. In other countries, it is something that can only be dreamt of.

Last Night I Dreamed of Peace is a heart-warming, touching story of a young doctor serving in the Vietnam War. Known as the Vietnamese version of Anne Frank, she kept a series of diaries in the midst of the fighting, unrest, and the hectic life she led. Unlike other accounts of war stories, her diaries not only speak of patriotism and bravery, but also of her personal insecurities, homesickness, and self-analysis.

The Girl Behind the Diaries 

Dang Thuy Tram was born in the 26th of November 1942, into a family of intellectuals. Her father was a surgeon at St Paul’s Hospital, and her mother a lecturer at the Hanoi School of Pharmacology. Her home in North Vietnam was filled with books, flowers, music and warmth. She grew up in this privileged surroundings to become a compassionate and sensitive young woman, with a love for music and knowledge of literature and poetry. Her literary interest is often reflected in her writings. She often quoted examples from literary works such as Vietnamese poetry as well as Western classics.

Following her father’s footsteps, she studied medicine at the Hanoi University Medical School, and trained as a surgeon. However, after the call of duty, she left a life of ease and comfort, choosing instead to serve the wounded soldiers in the perilous South, where war raged and bombings were common.

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