This memoir by Goh Poh Seng tells of his adventures as a young Asian student in the Ireland of the 1950s. Brought up in post-war Kuala Lumpur, the impressionable young man finds himself transported to a totally different milieu and culture. The stories follow him from the first tentative steps of his voyage to Europe, to his sojourn in a hostel for Asian students and the shock of boarding life in a boys Catholic school; continues with his early awakening to the possibility of becoming a writer, together with a total embrace of the cultural and literary pleasures of Dublin. Along the way, he met a colourful tapestry of characters, among them a member of the Anglo-Irish gentry, the suave and charming Tom Pierre from the West Indies, and the much-loved Irish poet Paddy Kavanagh.
“…this volume is a valuable addition to Singapore literature, a record of a writer’s coming of age in a time of global transition and revolution. Fans of Goh’s work will appreciate the glimpse into the events and encounters that made him who he was as a writer.” – Zhang Ruihe, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore “Tall Tales and MisAdventures of a Young Westernized Oriental Gentleman is an engaging treasure trove of anecdotes on the Dublin artistic and literary set of the fifties and an at times profound contemplation on the emergence of a writer in the isolation of the west of Ireland.” – Michael O’Sullivan, CHA: An Asian Literary Journal
Goh Poh Seng (1936-2010) was a pioneer of Singapore literature in English. His first novel, If We Dream Too Long, is a coming-of-age novel set in Singapore, and is recognized as the first Singaporean novel ever published in English. Goh was distinguished as a novelist, poet and playwright. He wrote all his life, and has published four novels and five books of poetry. In 1986, he emigrated with his family to Canada. He was working on this book when he passed away.