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The Sara Saga

Sara SagaManicasothy Saravanamuttu (2010) [1970] The Sara Saga, Penang: Areca Books.

The decades from the 1930s to the 1960s were hugely important in the making of modern Asia. They saw the tumultuous transition from colonial rule through the travails of war to the eventual attainment of independent nationhood. Manicasothy Saravanamuttu – 'Sara' to all and sundry – was a truly remarkable witness to and participant in these events. From his origins as the son of one of Ceylon’s most prominent political families this gripping memoir traces a remarkable journey: cricket-loving student at Oxford during the Great War, fearless editor of Penang’s English-language newspaper The Straits Echo, resilient internee during the Japanese Occupation,

influential diplomat-at-large during the height of the Cold War, and trustworthy confidant to the

great and the good. Written with great panache this revised edition of The Sara Saga offers a unique glimpse into history in the making. And more than this, it crystallises Sara’s singular character – a true ‘global soul’.


'This is a very pleasing book.... It draws a candid, full length, real life pen picture of its characterful author ... [and] describes many of the important historic events which have occurred ... as seen through the eyes of an always shrewd observer of the drama' – Malcolm MacDonald


Manicasothy Saravanamuttu was a legendary journalist and esteemed diplomat. He was the editor of Penang's The Straits Echo (1931–41) and managing editor of North Malayan Newspapers. He served as Ceylon's Commissioner in Singapore and Malaya (1950–57), Minister Plenipotentary and Envoy Extraordinary to Indonesia (1954–57) and Honorary Consul-General in Bangkok (1958–61). He died in 1970.



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