Robin Jenkins returned to the Far East in the 1950s for "Leila", a tender love story involving a Scottish teacher, Andrew Sandilands, and Leila, the exotically beautiful daughter of a local politician. Leila is, like her father, implicated in the revolutionary tremors shaking the small country and the lovers are soon torn between the small-minded mores of the expatriate community and Leila's determined efforts to play a role in her country's future. The masked oppression of the regime forms the backdrop to a novel where personal dramas collide with the legacies of colonialism.
John Robin Jenkins was born in 1912, one of four children, in the village of Flemington, near Cambuslang. He studied English at the University of Glasgow. When World War II broke out, he registered as a conscientious objector and was directed to work for the Forestry Commission; he used this experience in the acclaimed novel, The Cone Gatherers. In 1957, he moved abroad to work in Spain, Afghanistan and Malaysia. In 1968, he settled in Dunoon where he remained for the rest of his life. In 2002 he received the Saltire Society's Award for Lifetime Achievement. He died in 2005.
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