First published by Landmark Books in 1993, Green is the Colour explores how people of different races face the challenges of living together. The story centres on Yun Ming and Siti Sara falling in love with each other in the post-13 May 1969 period in Malaysia. Both characters are not only from different racial backgrounds and faiths but are also married to different people. In addition, Siti Sara’s father is a respected religious figure. How do the protagonists resolve their excruciatingly different circumstances in their fight to stay together?
“A sensitive novel about racial and religious tolerance set against the shadow of the 1969 racial riots in Kuala Lumpur.”
— Koh Buck Song, The Straits Times
“Fernando seeks to strip away the Englishness from English, to find a uniquely Malaysian prose voice… This is evident in his remarkable ear for Malaysian English, never sinking into caricature, but establishing a familiar flow… The best thing about it (the novel), and the reason I recommend it, is its picture of a society aware of its ‘roots’ but is simultaneously rootless.”
—Amir Muhammad, New Straits Times
“After the communal riots of May 13th, 1969 there was no wide-scale communal strife in Malaysia such as is depicted in Green is the Colour. Nonetheless, Lloyd Fernando’s vision of post 1969 Malaysia earns its validity as a bold attempt to present the fissures within Malaysia’s modernity.”
—Wong Soak Koon in Risking Malaysia: Culture, Politics and Identity
“In his novel, Green Is the Colour, Lloyd Fernando explores undercurrents of our of our multiethnic society with insight and honesty. He shows a deep understanding of minds shaped by different cultures and faiths, and of conflicts that can create a nightmare world when tolerance breaks down. This is a poignant story of tender humanity struggling against the cold inhumanity of closed minds – a story relevant to all of us today.”
—Abidah Amin, translator of After the War and Other Stories
About the Author:
Lloyd Fernando (1926–2008) was well known for this novel, which explores the issues of identity and cultures in a multi-ethnic society. Born in Sri Lanka in 1926, he emigrated to Singapore in 1938 with his family. Between 1967 to 1978, he was Head of English Department at the University of Malaya, after which he went on to study Law in London. He was admitted as Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 1980. For his contribution to the University of Malaya, he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in 2005.