Following the runaway success of Growing Up in Trengganu, Awang Goneng now takes his journey further to map out the town where he was born. This book looks at the terrain of Trengganu, the landmarks that are still standing and those that have fallen to rubble at the hands of developers, the winds that bring chill and change to the inhabitants of his coastal town, and people – the important and the ordinary – who walked the streets and breathed the air that is laced with more than a whiff of dried shrimps, the sweat of toil, the aroma of röjök in Pök Déh’s plate, and salt coming in with the spray from the South China Sea.
A Map of Trengganu gives a vibrant and extraordinary topography of the land and its people for the uninitiated and for those who are familiar with the terrain and territory. Time does not stand still in Kuala Trengganu as Awang Goneng notes, but it moves at a different pace in every fascia, and then it is gone forever. So who moved the clock tower from the roundabout in the town centre? You’ll soon be pondering this important question and many more things that you never knew about Trengganu.
About the Author
Awang Goneng moved from Trengganu to Kuala Lumpur to attend the Victoria Institution where he and a schoolfriend (who later became a judge in Singapore) involuntarily broke the school’s medium-distance record while fleeing a gang from a rival school near the Merdeka Stadium. With this newfound talent for power running, Awang Goneng proceeded swiftly into subsequent chapters of his life: first through the doors of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where he took a Law degree (from the Academic Registrar’s office one night when the door was left open), and then through an academic career (briefly) and journalism (less briefly) during which time he interviewed, among others, Anthony Burgess, Barbara Cartland and Adnan Khashoggi. He now lives in London as a freelance writer.
Reviews of Growing Up in Trengganu
“Awang Goneng does with words what Lat does with pictures.” Annabel Teh Gallop, Head, Southeast Asia section, British Library
“A trip back in time for Babyboomers who remember P Ramlee movies, kampongs by the sea, and itinerant hawkers. The author now resident in London has a prodigious memory for amusing detail and his food descriptions will make your mouth water.” Lifestyle
“If life in idyllic Trengganu takes your fancy, get insight from a book by a journalist who takes a nostalgic look on his younger years in the East Coast … It is a collection of tales on growing up in a Malaysian village, of small town charm and a sense of pride at being part of it … The book that Hulaimi wrote has become something of a phenomenon. Terengganu recently hosted the return of its prodigal son for a book signing and a reading … The 300-page book reflects the personality of its author superbly. That is, it’s humble, frank and unassuming.” New Straits Times
“Veteran journalist pens bestseller. Veteran journalist Wan Ahmad Hulaimi has compiled his childhood experience in a placid fishing village with a book Growing Up In Terengganu. The former London-based Bernama journalist, better known by his byline Wan Hulaimi, has described the lifestyle in old Kuala Terengganu for the younger generation who would never have seen the good old days of the fishing state and how his grandparents lived. The book became much sought n Malaysia soon after its debut at the world famous Frankfurt Book Fair in October. It is now among MPH’s top 10 in the non-fiction list. Publisher Monsoon Books is making preparations for the book’s second print of 3,000 books. ” The Star
“NORZITA A. SAMAD pays a visit to Terengganu of decades past by dipping into the pages of Awang Goneng’s Growing Up In Trengganu. I COULD almost hear in my mind my Tok Ki relating snippets of his many sojourns in the many isles of Nusantara and Indo-China, sailing in perahu besar earning a living trading sea salt, among other things. Reading Awang Goneng’s Growing Up In Trengganu is a walk down memory lane for me; the book really stirs up countless memories of my own childhood days in the quaint town of Kuala Terengganu in the 1970s. ” New Straits Times
“Melalui bukunya, Awang Goneng alias Wan Ahmad Hulaimi memberikan kita begitu banyak peluang untuk mengenali sosiobudaya Terengganu dan sedikit kesempatan memahami dirinya yang sentiasa nostalgik kepada Terengganu walaupun beliau kini memilih untuk meneruskan hari-hari tuanya di England…” Utusan Malaysia
“Growing up in Terengganu, the book authored by former London-based Bernama freelance journalist, Wan Ahmad Hulaimi, had a sort of spiritual homecoming when it received its Terengganu launch at the Alam Akademik bookshop here Tuesday. Going by the acronym of GUiT and written under the pseudonym Awang Goneng, it portrays the life of a typical mischievous Terengganu boy in years gone by. Terengganu-born Wan Ahmad Hulaimi, 60, who was present at the launch, said: “I regard this as the spiritual home of GUiT. I bought my first books here and my father used to take me here to buy his kitabs (religious books) and newspapers. It is very apt that GUiT gets its Terengganu launch at this shop. My children were all born and brought up in London and have no idea what it is like to grow up in Kuala Lumpur, never mind Kuala Terengganu,” he added. The 336-page book became a much sought after title in bookshops in peninsular Malaysia soon after its debut appearance at the world famous Frankfurt Book Fair in October.” Bernama
“Growing Up in Trengganu karya Awang Goneng mengulit nostalgia zaman kanak-kanak dan remaja pengarang buku ini ketika di Terengganu selain kerinduan kepada kaum keluarga dan handai taulan yang enggan dilepaskan meskipun sudah beberapa dekad menetap di London. Kebetulan tirai buku ini dimulai dengan kisah sambutan Hari Raya ketika negeri yang kaya dengan emas hitam itu masih jauh daripada pembangunan dan suasana Syawal masih hangat diraikan di Malaysia, membuka ruang kepada pembaca meninjau corak sambutan Ramadan dan Syawal pada zaman kanak-kanak Awang Goneng di Terengganu.” Berita Harian (Malaysia)