Monday, April 30, 2007

Tash and the Struggle for Independence

Tash Aw was interviewed by Suziena Uda Nagu in yesterday's Learning Curve Supplement of the New Sunday Times. He talks about his travels in Poland and Tuscany, and gives some sterling advice to writers. He says that the theme of his second novel is freedom, and how people make use of it.
Set in the 1960s Indonesia and Malaysia, it is about two brothers who grew up in an orphanage in Jakarta. One gets adopted by a Malaysian family who later moves to Kuala Lumpur and the other stays behind. The story is all about how they find each other. ... I’m interested in what happened to Southeast Asia when it became independent. Indonesia had a very rough time gaining its independence whereas Malaysia ‘seemingly’ had an easy time. In fact there were lots of tensions (in Malaya) at the time.
He promises that the novel will be
.. darker and, in subject matter, riskier than the first one
and hopes that it will be finished next year.

An earlier interview with Tash in the NST by Gerald Chuah can be found here with a lot of encouragement in it for local writers.

20 comments:

Argus Lou said...

It's bemusing to read about how Tash Aw managed to sit down and write his novel despite the Chinese/pragmatic teaching of "you need something to fall back on" wagging its finger in the background.

Do Aw and Tan Twan Eng know each other?

Argus Lou said...

I meant 'it set one thinking', not 'slightly confusing' - sorry!

bibliobibuli said...

argus lou - no, they don't, not yet.

dreamer idiot said...

Whooaaa... this sounds really good, the second novel.., which reminds me, I must read Harmony Silk Factory soon, but there's also the Masters research to get started on soon, aiyah.

Kak Teh said...

I am planning to meet Tan for dinner this Friday and I have invited Yang May and I am hoping that Tash is in London so that he can join us. It'll be great if we can meet up.

Anonymous said...

alaaa, boring lah! not another period novel.


The Viz

Anonymous said...

who says Tash Aw has nothing to fall back on?


Viz II

bibliobibuli said...

viz - please write YOUR contemporary masterpiece!

kak teh - sounds like a dinner i'd like to be at! please document in full and post with photos!

Anonymous said...

Sharon - It doesn't really matter WHEN the story is set. It is how you tell the story that really matters. Things like plot, characterisation and the writers skill in evoking the past, narrative control, etc. is especially vital. It is indeed a challenge for Malaysian writers to write a novel with a contemporary backdrop. Nobody has done it yet. Or have they? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

ah, that's a lousy argument. ppl love to say that. "you think its easy, wy dont u write your own novel? make your own film? become Prime Minister?"

just becos i could never be president of the United States doesnt mean i cannot criticise George Bush!

betol tak?


D Viz

bibliobibuli said...

viz - betul! just that you sound such a grumbler these days. and grumblers are nearly always "blocked creatives". betul tak?

anon - agree and i might fight this corner another day. (can't blog another post today, people would think i'm nuts and say "go get a life" ... which actually is good advice)

Chet said...

Go get more books at the Big Bookstore sale, Bib! There's also a great fish noodle shop nearby.

Anonymous said...

hahahaha ... hahaha ... haha ... ha.

ha.

er ...


D'Viz

bibliobibuli said...

fish noodles? i love ...

Anonymous said...

why no one invite me wan? i know i grumble la, but doesnt mean i am not a great book-shopping companion.

boo hoo hoo!


One Hundred Viz Of Solitude

Chet said...

We went, we ate, and we bought. Excellent afternoon in excellent company. Thanks, Sharon!

bibliobibuli said...

sorry viz, didn't know you were free today. honestly next time ...

the fishball noodles were wonderful

Anonymous said...

.. and you didn't even know fish had them, right ? :D

bibliobibuli said...

of course fish have balls!

Argus Lou said...

Not all though. Only those with moral courage.