We’re delighted to share an excerpt from the riveting novel The Tower (Epigram Books, 2013), winner of the prestigious Cultural Medallion, written by the acclaimed Singapore writer Isa Kamari and translated from the Malay by the accomplished writer, poet, and playwright Alfian Sa’at. The Tower is a masterful tale of success and failure that follows a successful architect who visits the new skyscraper he designed. As he climbs the tower with Ilham, his clerk of works, he reflects upon his life and spiritual journey in an increasingly materialistic world. This award-winning novel has been translated for the first time into English by Alfian Sa’at, his debut work of translation. His latest collection Malay Sketches (Gaudy Boy, 2018) was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
This is a compelling read we hope it will transport you. Happy National Translation Month and happy reading!
—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman