Renowned Penang-based lawyer-poet Cecil Rajendra’s book No Bed Of Roses - The Rose Chan Story, a biography of Asia’s legendary Striptease Queen, is set for a 10th anniversary edition this May.
Local publisher Clarity Publishing will be putting together a new edition of the biography, which has been out of print. In 2013, the book was released by Singapore-based publisher Marshall Cavendish.
"Although much has been made of her glamorous and risque performances, Chan's life story was also one of hardship, sorrow and suffering. Sent by her impoverished parents from China to Singapore in 1931 as a mere six year-old, she had to quickly learn to survive on her wits and bravado. With her strong will and sheer courage she transformed herself into a consummate show woman - her shocking dance moves and snake wrestling acts were so in demand that it took her and her troupe around Malaya and the world," reads a statement from Clarity Publishing, which is based in George Town, Penang.
"Stricken with cancer in her ‘retirement’ years, Chan returned to Penang, the one place she felt happiest and where she ran her famous Sakura club until her untimely death in 1987. It was in Penang that she struck up an unlikely friendship with (Cecil) Rajendra who initially acted as her lawyer. Despite pressure from International publishers and film producers, she insisted that only Rajendra could pen her memoirs," it adds.
Chan died of breast cancer at the age of 62 in 1987.
"She was probably the country’s first feminist because she never let any man control her and did not look for some rich man to sweep her off her feet - she earned good money herself," said Cecil in an interview with The Star in June 2013 to promote the book.
"She was an accomplished dancer and a professional. She choreographed her own routines and had beautiful costumes. She was a sex goddess to others but she saw herself as an artist,” he added.
The new material added to the upcoming book includes new photographs of Chan during her younger days and also court notices, letters and various legal documents that show that Cecil was Chan's lawyer.
Clarity Publishing's new edition of No Bed Of Roses - The Rose Chan Story will be available in bookstores from May 1.