Southeast Asian Lives: Personal Narratives and Historical Experience

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Edited by Roxana Waterson

Southeast Asian Lives presents life stories of ordinary people in Southeast Asia, one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing regions in the world.

The narratives illustrate the richness of life histories in revealing what it was like to go through the wrenching social adjustments that accompanied successive political transformations as Southeast Asia moved from colonialism through wartime occupation by the Japanese to the emergence of new nation states.

The authors who present these life stories are all anthropologists. Their narratives bear witness to fieldwork encounters that gave rise to close, long term friendships with the remarkable personalities whose lives are presented here, or with their families. By explaining the cultural and historical context of these highly personal, intimate accounts, the authors make them accessible to the widest possible audience and show what a fertile source such material can be for an anthropology that seeks to do justice to personal experience.

Southeast Asian Lives is a valuable resource for anthropologists and for researchers studying literature, history, biography and personal narratives. However, the book is much more than that. These moving accounts of real people adjusting to massive change offer a fascinating picture of the world of Southeast Asia that will intrigue anyone living in or concerned with this extraordinary region.

Roxana Waterson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. Her other publications include Paths and Rivers: Sa'dan Toraja Society in Transformation and Contestations of Memory in Southeast Asia.

Publication Year: 2006
300 pages, 229mm x 153mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-344-2, Paperback

NUS Press