Title: Agnes Keith & Other Colonial Women Writers In Borneo
Author: Mohamad Rashidi Pakri, Simon Peter Hull, Elizabeth Joanny Openg
Price: RM42.00 ISBN: 978-967-461-535-2
Taking its cue from feminist-postcolonial studies of women’s writing in the colonial era, this book testifies to the great diversity of such writing. However, it uniquely does this by showing the existence of a richly varied and heterogeneous range of texts not only between man writers and woman writers, but, equally, amongst the women themselves. These are women, moreover, who are writing within the same relatively small region of South East Asia. As Agnes Keith, whose writing forms the focal point of this book, credibly surmises, Borneo remained, even towards the end of the colonial period, a dark and mysterious land to people in the West, largely populated, as they imagined, by tribes of headhunters. It was, therefore, to the lack of knowledge and curiosity of ordinary middle-class people in the West that Keith’s writing, and that of the other woman writers featured in this book, so engagingly responds.