I just got this from a dear friend who did so much to help me escape out of fundamentalist religion, this sounds like a really interesting book. -AK
Dear AK: Re Book Launch for Laugh and Tough it Out
On Saturday 2.30 pm on August 18, we are having a book launch for Laugh and Tough it Out: How Sam Underwood met triumph and disaster in a distinguished medical career in Malaysia. (Irenic Publications)
About 15 years ago I formed a friendship with this distinguished medical doctor in Malaysia through our mutual interest in tropical fruit horticulture. I became so impressed with the story of Sam's life, that I decided to write an account of it.
Against the odds of poverty, racial discrimination (Sam is a Tamil by birth), the Japanese occupation of Malaya, the post-war Communist insurgency and several remarkable escapes from the jaws of death, Sam went on to master seven languages and to obtain 5 medical degrees including a PhD in Plastic Surgery from the Nihon University in Tokyo.
His humanitarian work was also highly awarded by the Malaysian Sultans and the Emperor of Japan.
Sam exemplified this immortal line from Kipling, "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same..." From a most unlikely source - a Japanese military officer - Sam was inspired to "laugh and tough it out" no matter what the circumstances of his life.
It is for this reason that our inspirational little book about his life is sprinkled with a lot of laughter and jokes.
The book can be ordered here:
Sam Underwood was born into a Tamil family in the old Ceylon. He grew up at Penang in the old Malaya under British rule and dreamed of becoming the best medical doctor he could possibly be. His life was dramatically changed by his very personal encounters with the Japanese Occupation during the War and by the Communist insurgency after the War. His life too was vitally impacted by the remarkable transformation of the old Malaya into the fully independent nation of Malaysia in 1957.
The beginnings of Malaysia's career as an independent nation co-incided with the beginnings of Sam Underwood's very distinguished medical career in which he earned 5 medical degrees, including a PhD in plastic surgery and the man have forged remarkable success stories, neither of them are unblemished success stories. Sam has experienced the commendable and not so commendable features of his nation's multi-racial policies. He has met both triumph and disaster in his own personal life - illustrating that excellence is never achieved by the absence of human fault-lines, but in spite of them.