It´s always a joy to receive foreign editions of my novels. Especially when there are two arriving in the same week: «Beyond the Nile» in Romanian and «Time of the Wild Orchids» in Russian.
(The latter recommended for age 18+, by the way. Which honestly makes me blush.)
Last week in El País: reading recommendations for the summer in Uruguay. Among Dan Brown, Paul Auster and John Grisham – my «Time of the Wild Orchids», one of the most popular love stories at the moment, according to a local bookstore.
Thank you for your entries! Winners have been notified via email.
Newly arrived in my writer´ s studio: the Spanish edition of «Time of the Wild Orchids», my novel set in nineteenth-century Singapore, published by Ediciones B in December.
And I´ m giving away three signed copies!
To enter the giveaway (open to readers worldwide), send an email with the subject «Spanish Orchids» up to and including Tuesday, February 28th, 11.59 p.m. CET to
and let me know if you´ d prefer the hardcover or the paperback.
The winners will be randomly selected and informed via email; all decisions regarding the draw will be final.
When I started research for my novel «Time of the Wild Orchids» and came across the Orang Laut, the sea peoples of old Singapore, I was instantly hooked. The idea of tribes of sea nomads inhabiting the waters of the Indonesian archipelago alternately as fishermen, traders, pirates and warriors intrigued me, and I was curious about their culture, their beliefs, their way of life.
Unfortunately, the Orang Laut of Singapore abandoned their customs soon after the British had arrived, and when Europeans started to pay interest to the indigenous people of the new colony from a scientific-anthropological point of view, there wasn´t much left to study.
But they still exist, the sea nomads, on the oceans of this world, and the depiction of the Orang Laut in the novel is based on reports and studies of recent date that allow insights into an astonishing and threatened way of life.
Last of the Sea Nomads
By James Morgan // Marine nomads, the Bajau Laut, have lived in the waters of the Coral Triangle for centuries but their way of life and their uniquely intimate relationship with the ocean is being destroyed.
Just as the sea has influenced and shaped Singapore throughout its history, it determines not only the way of life of the sea nomads but also their perception – as described in this interesting article on the unique vision of their children.
A brief insight into Singapore’s colorful Peranakan culture – featured also in Time of the Wild Orchids –, given by the San Francisco Chronicle the other day.
Peranakan enclaves a surprising side of glitzy Singapore
The two-story home on Joo Chiat Terrace is packed with porcelain, jewelry, silver, clothing, shoes, and intricately carved display cases. “When I was growing up, I didn’t know what it was like to be Peranakan,” Yapp says, perching on a chair inlaid with mother-of-pearl in the front of the house in Singapore’s Joo Chiat neighborhood. (…)