Meet-the-Author: Warran Kalasegaran. I'll moderate this discussion of his #EBFP2016-longlisted novel.
During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, an eight-year-old Tamil boy is separated from his father, forced to work for the Kempeitai – the Japanese secret police – and renamed Nanban. From Lieutenant Kurosawa Takeshi, Nanban learns their language and customs, studies their martial arts and prays to their Emperor. Twenty years later, a talented, racially ambiguous seamstress named Papatti uses her sewing skills to fight for Singapore’s merger with Malaya. Through the turbulence of merger, independence and race riots, she must rely on her wits and courage to see her way through. The two lives intertwine in surprising and powerful ways, from the 1940s to the 1960s.