The title of this non-fiction book
is from a Malay idiom, Katak Bawah Tempurong. The frog who lives
under the coconut shell thinks that the coconut shell is its
entire world. It is a reference to the author’s own mother,
who although herself uneducated and living a parochial existence
in a kampong or Malay village, believed in and struggled for
a greater vision - the right to educate her daughter. The book
is a testament to the love and courage of a mother that changed
the life of her daughter forever. The idiom also refers to the
author who was like a frog under a coconut shell in the small
world of the kampong.
In part, the book is a nostalgic memoir of old Singapore in the 1950s and 60s which will tug at the emotional strings of those who have been out there. The book also paints in heartwarming detail, the author’s mother’s journey from the bloom of youth to her affliction with Alzheimer’s disease.
ISBN 978 961 4276 84 9 (new edition) 2010
ISBN 981 232 398 8
Published in 2002 by Times Books Intl., Singapore
Translation into Bahasa IndonesiaKatak Dalam Tempurung