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Descendants of Tan Kah Kee And Their Stories (Paperback)

Descendants of Tan Kah Kee And Their Stories (Paperback)


What does it mean to write a book about the descendants of a great man? Would anyone care to read it? Not many descendants of great men (or women) have written books about themselves, so why should the descendants of Tan Kah Kee be any different?

This book is not just about a group of people who are related by blood but otherwise mostly do not have much in common with each other. If that is so, their stories would be quite dull, and would not even justify the paper they are printed on. No, this book is also about the talented and resourceful people who have moved in circles around the descendants, some of them having married, or have children married into the family, whilst others interacted in various ways that added spice to life in general. Of course, many are also well known, and that makes for fascinating reading.

SKU: 9789811891304
  • Tech Specs

    Title: Descendants of Tan Kah Kee and Their Stories

    Author: Peggy PG Tan

    Publisher: Word Image Pte Ltd

    ISBN: 978-981-18-9130-4 (Paperback)

    Book size: 155mmW x 230mm closed, 510mmW x 230mmH (open with cover flaps)

    Pages: 304

    Weight: 580 gsm

    Year: 2024

    Language: English
    Finish: Paperback
    Genre: Memoir

  • About The Book

    The first half of the 20th century was also a period of great upheaval, and to be able to live through say, the dark days of Japanese occupation and emerge at the other end with body and soul intact was already a feat to be celebrated. Indeed, those were existential moments, and quite naturally the best stories are to be found here, where the sons of TKK drew upon their stock of intellect, resourcefulness, and resilience to seek refuge for their families to wait out the

    war years, or to try to survive in occupied Singapore, one day at a time. This book is also a story about the Chinese diaspora, and how some migrants have succeeded beyond their dreams, carving a place for themselves not just in Asia but halfway around the world. Last but not least, it is about discovering our motherland, with all its emotional contents, and to understand its glorious history – a subject perhaps too vast for most of us to get our arms around it.

    And this brings us back to the figure of Tan Kah Kee – a giant of a man, clever, quick-witted, courageous, visionary, eloquent and armed with an invincible moral compass which he wielded like a sword. A leader of the overseas Chinese, one whose audacious goals were achieved against almost impossible odds and who lifted the lives of millions, here is a man whose incorruptibility is held up as a beacon of hope, and whose unique legacy is still celebrated by many today.

  • About The Author

    Born in 1949, the author is the granddaughter of Tan Kah Kee – a third-generation descendant. Though interested in the history of her ancestors, she had never thought of herself as a historian, much less a consuming digger of facts and figures from a thousand sources. However, she did interview her father and his brother when they were in their eighties and nineties, but her search was more focused on grandfather Tan Kah Kee than on themselves. In 2007 she was tasked by her cousin Danny Tan to translate the Foreword as well as all the photo captions in the Tan Kah Kee Memorial Museum in Jimei into English, so that added to her interest in the Tan family. Much of the information about her paternal grandmother was gleaned from her parents, aunts and household staff themselves, including from her own observations whilst growing up with Ah Mah. Not unfamiliar with turning words into stories, she had over the years written short articles for an orchid society magazine on a topic that was (and still is) close to her heart, and in her profession as a director of a boutique advertising agency she also doubled up as a versatile copywriter. Hence, perhaps it was just a matter of time before a book of this scale and complexity was tackled.

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