|About the Book|
Rope of Ash is set in the fictional village of Banggul Derdap, with its rice fields, wooden thatched houses and small mosque. It is a tale of bitter hatred, in which one family is pitted against the whole village in defence of what the family members believe to be traditional values relating to the soil. Over this small and intimate society are the violent forces of nature, including a marauding tiger.The characters are clearly delineated, and the universal theme of the social outcast and scapegoat is interwoven with that of social change. The emotional tensions that can exist and grow unchecked in a small community are precisely, yet subtly described. Death rules but life is triumphant. No matter how strong the pressures, the village must eventually reunite if it is to survive.Shahnon Ahmad has been increasingly recognized as Malaysia’s leading contemporary novelist. His work is noted for its vividness and its faithfulness to the realities of rural life in Malaysia today. This novel forms the basis for much of Shahnon Ahmad’s later work and is essential reading for all those interested in Malaysian literature andsociety. The translation is by Harry Aveling, well-known for his many, controversial, translations of Indonesian and Malay literature.