Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Do Your Chores First!

Seems that our latest overseas published author has been disrupting the domestic life of one of my favourite British libloggers. Dovegreyreader got sent an advanced copy of The Gift of Rain by new independent publisher Myrmidon:
Then I just sneaked a peek at the Tan Twan Eng and an hour later remembered that actually I'd been on my way to empty the dryer.
I have Twan much on the brain today as I have to get the review of his book finished and type up my interview with him for the first StarMag literary supplement appearing later in the month. Better stop messing about on this blog and actually get some work done!

Here's a pic of Twan, looking a tad serious. I snapped it at Starbucks in Borders at the Curve on Saturday.

Postscript

We would like Ang Lee to google his name and drop by this blog so that he knows that he is invited to make the film of this book!

39 comments:

sympozium said...

Silly me. I also sent you a link to Dovegrey but then saw later that you have her link as well on your blog. As Homer would say, "D'oh!"

bibliobibuli said...

i encountered her first through librarything. couldn't believe how many books she has!!!

Kenny Mah said...

Firstly, congratulations to Tan Twan Eng on having his book published. I think it's a good sign that more and more local authors are getting the attention of publishers overseas.

This could be the beginning of a new wave of Malaysian writing, maybe?

bibliobibuli said...

kenny - i do so hope so

Lydia Teh said...

Congrats to Tan. He must be very excited as the date draws nearer for his book to be released.

Sharon, yay! First literary supplement in Starmag and you're writing for it. How many pages will it be? Who's heading it?

tunku halim said...

Well done to Twan. Can't wait to read the martial arts: aikido v. karate bits!

bibliobibuli said...

lydia - i think it's daphne as gim ean has moved to star 2 now.

i don't know much more about it, but don't expect it will be more than a four-page pull-out. but that is a start!!!! small step today. world domination tomorrow!

bibliobibuli said...

tunku halim - even i feel inspired to take up aikido! btw - no-one is allowed to give tunku halim a bad review because he is a black belt in karate!

sympozium said...

You should take it up, Sharon! :-)

bibliobibuli said...

you reckon? haha could throw my old man around then and he wouldn't win all the fights

bibliobibuli said...

hey i'm supposed to be working. what am i doing here???

KayKay said...

Sharon, remember I'm next in line for the book now that you're done with it. Can't wait. Have just finished a bunch of Martial Arts Thrillers by Barry Eisler whose book titles,incidentally,all end with the word Rain! And, please sir, I WANT SOME MORE!!!!!

fei said...

I would like to read Tan's novel too,I read the introduction of his book from the leaflet I got from the Reading, I should have talked to him that night!!

I wrote article regarding Japanese occupation of Malaya every year, the chinese society of Malaysia will hold activities in memorial of those who sacrified during the occupation. I also interviewed a few survivals few years ago.

Therefore, I would like to read a book which actually based on that particular period of our history. And how does it affect a person.

sympozium said...

Eisler's John Rain series is quite good. But after a while did get samey... :-)

Yes, Sharon - you can achieve inner peace and then need not have to throw the old man around.

bibliobibuli said...

i have inner peace already

it's called reading

dovegreyreader said...

I am enjoying this book so much I've missed four emptyings of the dishwasher too, life is just having to carry on around me!Great to find your blog and I'll add a link to it from mine if that's OK?
Would love to have more recommends of writers from your part of the world as well.

bibliobibuli said...

hi dovegreyreader. am very happy to hear from you as i've been enjoying your blog for some time. would be very honoured to have you linking me and yes, will be blogging all about our local writing community.

"the gift of rain" is a real page turner, isn't it. and i really appreciate it for that.

Animah The Banned said...

I hope your interview dealt with research. Like Fei, I am fascinated with that period. Remember what Prof Khoo Kay Kim mentioned during that Literary Seminar we went to - that Malaysia's first colonialists were the Japanese, not the British.

I'd be interested in how Tan Twan Eng carried out his research, his resource materials and whether he interviewed those who lived through and remembered the Japanese occupation.

I'd also be interested in knowing how he was a lawyer (in practice, mind you!! Lawyers in practice generally work all night and weekends) and managed to write a book.

bibliobibuli said...

haha animah - i asked the questions yes. sneak preview - he wrote the book while he was taking time out in south africa. (so madam lawyer, you may need to do the same for your play. time out i mean, not south africa)

the rest you'll have to wait for with bated breath!

sympozium said...

Wow, what was Prof Khoo's basis for that interesting assertion? Can anyone summarise or recap it?

The Japs didn't colonise Malaya so much as rape the country - the Brits left behind rubber plantations, tin mines, good road systems, public amenities, courts, a legal system universally recognised as equitable and fair.

The Japs? Memories of massacres, extortion, murders, slave-labour, brutality, comfort women (note they never apologised for their war crimes and last year we happily welcomed their emperor when he paid a visit, at the same time getting into a lather about the visit of some other controversial person -can't remember who at the moment, sorry! -)

...Just finished reading a brief and informative and highly readable short book called "Inventing Japan" by noted Japanophile Ian Buruma...

bibliobibuli said...

yet one thing that comes out v. well in tan's book is this strange contrast between being highly cultured in many ways and at the same time incredibly brutal ...

sympozium said...

One of the reasons why we're so fascinated by them, I think.

Animah The Banned said...

Sympozium, Yes the Japanese are fascinating. If you can, catch Babel which is playing at our cinemas now. I won't tell you the story but there is a Japanese part to it as well. I think you'd enjoy it.

As for Khoo Kay Kim's statement. He said that the British merely colonised the Strait Settlements, i.e. Penang, Malacca and Singapore. The other states were still under their respective Sultans and in the case of the Federated Malay States, there was the British resident appointed. These states were under the protection of the British but were not colonies as such. The first time the entire Malaya was under one ruler (if you don't consider the old old kingdoms) was when the Japanese invaded Malaya. The second time was under the Malay Union in 1946 for just a few years before the states were handed back to the Sultans in 1948. Technically Merdeka in 1957 was merdeka from the Sultanate.

Now isn't that a complete reversal of what we have believed about our "fight" for independence all these years?

Sharon, Hey I wouldn't mind escaping to South Africa if I could (thinks of 100 reasons why not).

sympozium said...

Ah, thanks Animah...but I reckon Prof Khoo is right. But I also think he's being very particular. The Resident System was in essence a form of colonisation as the Residents, as 'advisers' to the rulers, had power over almost everything except when it came to matters of religion and customs. And they all reported to the Governor in Singapore...
I wouldn't call the Japanese rule of Malaya colonisation but rather an out and out conquest.

dovegreyknitter said...

I'm going to own up that Twan's book is telling me an awful lot I didn't really know especially about the atrocities to the local population.All makes me sound really ignorant but all we ever get here is the Burma railway and Tenko style representations of atrocities to the Brits who couldn't escape fast enough. It's giving me a new perspective on a situation I thought I knew about but clearly didn't.I have about 100 pages to go and though I'm desperate to know how it's all going to end, I shall be sad when it has.The sign of a good book for me.

bibliobibuli said...

yes, it's good that the world knows about the atrocities ... when i first came to live here there was so much i didn't know either but then i heard so many stories from friends of relatives taken off to burma and never seen again, of houses still said to be haunted by the victims of the japanese.

i couldn't bear to get to the end and read the last few chapters very slowly haha.

hope a film gets made of it.

sympozium said...

Mr. Ang Lee, please take note! :-) Sounds like the sort of movie he'd enjoy making - a combination of all his previous movies. And he had been shooting 'Lust, Caution' in Penang recently, hasn't he?

sympozium said...

Hadn't he, not hasn't! D'oh!

fei said...

I think even different ethinic groups in Malaysia had different experience and collective memories of the Japanese atrocities as well, due to the different treatment received by each group.

The Japanese was being good to the Malays and Indians, but hated the chinese so much, which the chinese had been tortured and killed in large number.

And the lack of translation of each groups' experience also makes us ignorant to what happened to others. The chinese society in Malaysia had published a few books regarding the atrocities during Japanese occupation, but were in mandarine.

bibliobibuli said...

if ang lee googles his name he might just turn up in the conversation

hello mr. ang!!!

bibliobibuli said...

fei - it would be really great if those texts could be translated into english and or malay. what do you think the likelihood is?

sympozium said...

Ang Lee
Ang Lee
Ang Lee

:-))))

bibliobibuli said...

hang on - will put it at the end of the main post so he can find it more easily

sympozium said...

Let's use other terms as well:

Lust, Caution
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Eat Drink Man Woman
Brokeback
Wedding Banquet

:-)))

bibliobibuli said...

perhaps the author will send ang lee a copy and make him an offer he cannot refuse

i am going to go into the tourism business and set up "the gift of rain " tour of penang

i have already submitted my plans for "the harmony silk factory tour of perak" - did you see that one? i'm very proud of it. anyone got venture capital? (maybe is we really do call it "the silk tobacco factory" we can get a certain ciggy company to sponsor??). BTW sympozium - did you see the limerick i wrote for you yesterday?

fei said...

Hi, Sharon,

As far as I know, some of the books are in the process of translation, it will take some time. I think the publisher began to see the importance of getting these books translated into english and malay.

I'll let you know, if any one of these books published.

sympozium said...

No, haven't seen the limerick! Presume it's under the heading of valentine's day poems?

It'd be difficult to get in touch with Ang Lee, I reckon...

bibliobibuli said...

fei - thanks - i know i really want to read them

sympozium - yes, my valentine's gift to you, the brilliance of my poetry. one day when i'm famous it will be much anthologised

sympozium said...

Read it now - thanks! :-)))