Home is Where We Are
Does home have to be a country or a city?... Or is home this house or that? We have been fortunate.... We seemed always to have been home.
Wang Gungwu’s account of his university education in Singapore and the UK, and the early years of his career as an academic in Malaysia capture the excitement, the ambition and the choices of a generation that saw it their responsibility to build the new nations of Southeast Asia.
The exploration of the emotional and intellectual journey towards the formation of an identity, treasured by readers of Wang's Home is Not Here, extends in this volume into an appreciation of love, family life, and the life of the mind. We also see these years from Margaret’s perspective, her own fascinating family story, and her early impressions of this young bearded poet. Wise and moving, this is a fascinating reflection on identity and belonging, and on the ability of the individual to find a place amidst the historical currents that have shaped Asia.
“A wonderful, rich tapestry of the Malay(si)an life of Southeast Asia’s great cosmopolitan, at the centre of Asia’s mid-century intellectual upheaval." - Anthony Reid, ANU
“Recording Professor Wang Gungwu’s intellectual journey as he navigated often unsettling questions regarding cultural identity, and his obligations as a citizen-scholar, it also chronicles the individuals and influences that shaped his academic direction. At the same time, the book is a testimony to the support and commitment he received from Margaret Wang, whose own memories, skilfully incorporated into the narrative, highlight the strength of their long partnership.” – Barbara Watson Andaya, University of Hawaii
“Wang’s memoir provides insight into what shaped the scholarship and world-view of this greatly admired historian. But the most compelling reading here is Wang’s learning where home really is....” – Lee Kam Hing, New Era
Wang Gungwu, formerly vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, is emeritus professor at Australian National University and university professor at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of some 20 books, including Home is Not Here, published by NUS Press.
Margaret Wang was educated at the University of Malaya, Homerton College, Cambridge, and the Australian National University. She was head of the English Department at the Malayan Teachers College.