The secret of its great sales? According to the publisher (Marshall Cavendish) the blog-coverage has a lot to do with it! Yipee!
But Kam has also worked incredibly hard to promote the book through readings in bookshops and writers' gatherings (the most recent being the readings Bernice organised at No Black Tie last Sunday) and he's about to launch the book in Singapore. (The bookshops down there seem to feel the book belongs in the social anthropology or history section!)
His new website has been brought into being by Reza and Chet, and I'm sure you will agree is excellent. (As I was saying, every author needs web-presence.)
Kam's response in the article to a question about whether non-Malays were equally well able to relate to the book interested me:
... Kam says the book isn’t just popular with the Malays. ... “One of the reasons why non-Malays get annoyed with Malays is because there is actually something very attractive about the Malays – they are graceful and gracious people, very likeable and civilised.It was really nice to see the family photos accompanying the piece.
So when non-Malays see Malays acting ugly and aggressively, it’s a double disappointment. So I wanted a character who, in many ways, embodies the very civilised traits and qualities that non-Malays find attractive.”
Still, non-Malays see their own versions of Datuk Hamid, and many have told him so. “There are a lot of Indian and Chinese Hamids too, because back in that time, due to the education system, people had the same values and tastes, regardless of their race.”
I think Kam looks like his father (Mohamed Raslan Datuk Abdullah, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1971), and I love this photo of the brothers together as kids in London 1969. (From left to right, Karim, Johan and Kam.)