One of the beacons of hope Amir Muhammad saw burning for local writing in English in the Kakiseni article I linked to yesterday was Silverfish New Writing. Five years on, the annual anthology is still going strong, and Silverfish New Writing 6 was launched last night at the Impiana Hotel, KL. The event, like the book, was sponsored by HSBC (under its HSBC in the Arts banner). Here are my (blurry as always) photos of the event.
Guest Ioalanda Capodanno with Professor Quayum, co-editor of Silverfish New Writing 3
From left: Datuk Shan (whose stories have appeared in earlier Silverfish collections), New Writing 6 editor Dipika Mukherjee, my buddies and writing running mates Saras Manickam and Soo Choon.
Thaatchaayini Kananatu, who wrote the story In God's Belly signs my book ...
... as does Peter Brown (Dysfunction). (Peter is a singer-songwriter and I've often enjoyed listening to his band Passion.)
A bit blurry, but this captures Raman quite well, doesn't it?
Phek Chin (far right) and Usha (centre) of Silverfish with a friend.
There were speeches from Deputy Chairman and CEO of HSBC Dato' Zarir J Cama, who told us that P.G. Wodehouse had also been a banker with HSBC (bet you didn't know that!), Raman (who quoted the Paul Auster speech about the uselessness of literature and talked about how we all need stories), and then a short word from Dipika Muhkerjee who had flown all the way back from Holland for the event, before the grand unveiling of the book.
The writers and editor up on stage with artist Shahril Nizam Ahmad who designed the cover, next to Raman.
Saras, relishing being a published writer at last, signs copies.
Junaida bte Hassan (A Whistle in the Night) took time off work to travel all the way up from Singapore.
I met many other interesting people and had a very enjoyable evening. I will write more about the book later when I've finished it.
Raman's much nicer photos of the event are here.