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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

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 captures 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.

308 pages | 10 halftones | 6 x 9

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

History: Asian History

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"[An] absorbing memoir of [an] outstanding scholar and exemplar of a humble cosmopolitanism that is becoming rare."

Inside Story

“By filling in gaps on what we know about Chinese, Southeast Asian and Chinese overseas history, Wang’s work will continue to be drawn on to understand China’s most recent rise and engagement with the world, as well as new waves of Chinese migration.”


"Wang Gungwu, a global Chinese historian and former president of the University of Hong Kong, wrote the story of his "long and semi-nomadic career" at the age of nearly 90. His life began in Southeast Asia during the colonial era. He experienced colonization, war, turmoil, revolution, and migrated between three continents for most of his life, which constituting a rich and unique wandering history in the historical torrents of twentieth century."

Yazhou Zhoukan

Table of Contents

Before Home
Part One: Fitting In
Soft Landing
A Mixed Start
Whose Literature?
Verse Making
Free to Enjoy
Manila Alert
Part Two: My New Frame
What is a Nation?
Political Education
Part Three: Pairing Lives
Meeting Margaret
Mother Tung
Father Lim
Learn to Share
Part Four: Double Vision
World of Learning
Distant History
Why 10th Century
Meeting Sinology Halfway
EngLit England
Part Five: Make a Family
Reunion, Marriage
Cambridge to London
Birth of a Baby
Part Six: Great Place to Work
Closer to Home
Move to KL
Whose Region?
Part Seven: Globalizing?
Enter the Cold War
New World Report
East Coast Centres
Margaret’s America
Producing A Survey
Part Eight: Roots
Three Generations
We Build a House
Settling Down
Part Nine: The Unexpected
1965: Down Under
1965: Reorient
National History
East Asian Focus
Take a Break
Wrapping Up
Epilogue: Home is Where We Are
Appendix: Writings Related to My Malaya Home

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