The latest issue of Quill is yours for free if you flash your MPH card, and a mere RM8 if not.
It's crammed with so much good stuff I don't know where to begin.
I loved Eric Forbes' article on the short story, chock full of excellent reading recommendations which I would love to see the bookstore promoting! He also gives sterling advice about how to submit your manuscript.
It's a Long way to the Floor author David Byck explains about how he got started. Tan Twan Eng talks about the writing of The Gift of Rain, and FireWife author Tinling Choong (who will be visiting Malaysia in July) is interviewed at length.
Dina Zaman and Tunku Halim debate about whether you would take a look at the book a person reads before you decide to get married to them. Pragmatists both. (I think books are windows to the soul ... should have thought twice when I found only war stories on my beloved's bookshelves!)
The Ambassador for Mexico, H.E. Alfredo Perez-Bravo reveals his love for Octavio Paz, Marques, Vargos Llosa and Carlos Fuentes (good for him!) and talks about Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose as the ultimate airport novel (CSI Medieval Italy!).
There's a long interview with Farish Noor, and Dr. Faridah Manaf writes a very interesting piece about gender, race and nationalism in post-colonial Malaysia. Am most impressed that the Malay word for post-colonial is pascakolonial, which I will now slip into conversation with the gardener.
Yours truly writes about why Writers Need Friends which I dedicate to my scribbling running mates. (Saras, Mercy, Soo Choon, Leah - you're famous now!). My pics of the Night of the Living Text event are in there too.
But as I told you, my article on book banning ironically got censored out.
That doesn't surprise when the PM himself graces the cover, holding the book of tributes for his wife Datin Paduka Seri Endon who died of cancer in October 2005. The book A Bouquet of Jasmines. (Yes, "jasmines" with an "s"! - a big fat grammar blooper in the title!) was launched at a grand gala evening where everyone who is anyone wore pink and drank pink drinks (think Barbie!).
(Sorry, sorry ... I don't know where such cynicism comes from.)