The Malayan Trilogy

Scope and Content

The series contains notes towards a glossary of The Malayan Trilogy, presumed to have been compiled by Burgess and his wife, Liana, during her translation of the trilogy into Italian with Francesca Bandel; and an incomplete typescript draft of the first part of the trilogy in Italian.

See also Liana Burgess’s copy of Time for a Tiger (Heinemann, London, 1971), complete with her translation notes, preserved within the International Anthony Burgess Foundation's library, and AB/ARCH/K/4: Notebook/diary, dated 1958-1964.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Malayan Trilogy refers to a series of 3 novels by Burgess, first published in the 1950s, and set in Malaysia. The three volumes are: Time for a Tiger (1956); The Enemy in the Blanket (1958); and Beds in the East (1959).

Time for a Tiger, Burgess's first published novel, takes its name from an advertisement for Tiger beer and is a darkly comic and satirical depiction of Malay society as it moved towards independence from Britain, which was formally achieved in 1957. The protagonist of Time for a Tiger is the History teacher Victor Crabbe and his story provides a thread through the trilogy as a whole.

Liana Burgess and Francesca Bandel's Italian translation of The Malayan Trilogy, titled Malesia! and published in 1980, was awarded the Premio Scanno prize.

The trilogy is published as The Long Day Wanes: A Malayan Trilogy in the United States

Access Information


Records described as being in a fair or poor condition are available to researchers in consultation with the Archivist.