Sunday, August 19, 2007

Quality Quill

Renee was kind enough to pass me the latest copy of MPH's Quill magazine on Saturday, since I have a piece in it. Once again it's a winner, with some excellent articles on local books and writing. And there's not even a photo of a politician in sight this time!

Because it's the Merdeka issue there's a whole series of photos of local authors in their party frocks, talking about their hopes for the country.

I loved the article by Zurina Abu Bakar about her selection of coffee table books to give the essence of the country: many of her choices, particularly those on the history and natural history country are already on my bookshelves. This lady should write more!

Zawiyah Baba of the National Library writes about Malaysia's literary icons and she pays tribute to some of the greats including Keris Mas, Shahnon Ahmad, Usman Awang, Muhammad Haji Salleh, A. Saman Said, and K.S. Maniam. A veritable who is who on the Malay literary scene

Nisah Haji Haron who is a lawyer as well as an author (as so many of them are!) writes about copyright for writers, while Eric Forbes, editor for MPH publishing, has a good vent about wannabe authors who hand over imperfect manuscripts. There are those who want someone else to do the revisions for them so they can go on partying, and those who go to absurd lengths to prevent their manuscripts being edited at all! I don't envy Eric his job.

The interview with the irascible Rehman Rashid is very interesting indeed.

And then there is my article on writers who use dreams to inspire their writing.

Renee is so kind when she writes in her editorial:
... dedicated individuals like Sharon Bakar and Eric Forbes make reading local books cool. They are thick in the middle of action, helping out with the KL Writers Circle, the Breakfast Club, organizing readings, get-togethers, while their blogs chronicle what goes on ...
and I'm blushing!

If you want your copy of Quill, this issue is free to those who hold the store's little red card, but RM8 to all others.

(I'm not telling you who is who on the cover and the picture on the right. If you live here you should recognise 'em. If you're overseas, you probably won't care!)


Eliza said...

I've only been to one breakfast litblogger meeting though I look forward to going again. I do read your blog regularly and have attended your class, AND know how encouraging you are to budding writers, so I will second Renee's comments on your contribution to the Malaysian lit scene. Thanks for all your effort to get many more of us to write, and dare to dream of being published.

bibliobibuli said...

well, you did it dear, and that more than makes it worthwhile. now write those short stories and memoir pieces and get that inner critic locked in the cupboard

iwannaeatporkchoptonight said...

Hi Sharon :) I contacted you once... upon a time. I was one of them who wanted to join your book club, only to find out it's full :( Anyway. Doesn't matter :) I've been reading your blog and am just curious about something. How long do you take to read one book?

I love reading! But somehow, sometimes I feel like I'm not being a very 'efficient' reader. Erm. I don't know if you know what I mean. I feel like at times, I'm not really giving a lot to the person who wrote the book. Instead I plough through the story to get to the end of it. I wanna learn how to give the writer more thought. I wanna be a better reader! Ha ha. I'm still not sure if you understand what I'm trying to say... but if you do, do share your thoughts with me :)

animah said...

Is the guy on the left blond, or does he have a golden aura?

bibliobibuli said...

yeah my book club is up to numbers and ticking along nicely. we generally get 10-12 each meeting which is just nice. the others don't seem to want top kpen up to new faces at the moment either. (we are a democracy! the club ain't mine alone). this is good, it shows that something that took a lot of getting off the ground eventually became successful. but if we have space for new members in future, i will contact you.

some of the bookshops have book clubs e.g. the one at mph. there is also a monthly club that meets at the attic in bangsar each month - i discovered them on facebook!

but it is more fun to set up your own so you can meet how you want and choose the books you enjoy.

it isn't hard to set up a group, you need a few friends, a venue (we meet in people's homes), and a book

(finding the friends might be a challenge but maybe i can help through this blog)

i've been giving a lot of though as to how i can help people set up groups of their own and am planning an article which i may well also blog

i do understand what you're saying. i guess it was all easy for me because i was hooked on books from small and then read literature as part of my degree, and also taught it. you're right, learning to analyse is very important if you want to get the best out of a book.

what are you reading at the moment and what do you like?

bibliobibuli said...

animah - blonde like most malaysians!!

Anonymous said...

who, may I ask, is this Lydia Teh? Talking about a rose among the thorns. Stunning is the word.

bibliobibuli said...

yes, she scrubs up well for a photo, doesn't she? well she is the author of the very funny and insightful "honk if you're malaysian" and you can also find her on her blog

Lydia Teh said...

Anon, thank you. Digital photography is a many splendoured thing.

Sharon, thanks so much for your support. I shrivelled up when I saw that comment at Raman's. Wondering whether I should reply but at the moment will leave it be.

bibliobibuli said...

lydia - it was a very unkind comment and like all comments of that kind no doubt written by someone who isn't succeeding very well in their own creative endeavours. also cowardly because anonymous.

i'm all in favour of people being critical in a fair way, but perlease be brave enough to own your words!

i stand by what i said to you earlier. i think you'd be a great encourager if you had time to set up a writing group. the most important thing is to create the enthusiasm.

writers should have a very good grasp of grammar but we all slip up. the important thing is that grammatical nasties shouldn't make it into the finished book, and that ultimately is the responsibility of the editor and publisher.

anyway i think i should run a proofreading for writers course!

i would like to be digitised! i did a photo shoot for marie claire recently (i'm in the sept issue) and told them to digitise it out of all recognition and then i'd be happy - slimmer, younger, more intelligent ... the works!

iwannaeatporkchoptonight said...

I read all sorts of stuff :) From social science to children's fantasy. My last read was Harry Potter 7 :) But right now, I'd like to expose myself more to local writers and/or even genres which I've never considered before!

Thanks for your ideas on creating a book club. I guess the challenge for me (should I create one) would be coming out with a method to discuss and analyze the book so that everyone gives something during the meeting. I know nothing is carved in stone but the last thing I want to happen is the club becoming so silent that you can hear crickets chirping or turning ghastly violent because of disagreement and bad manners! I know I'm exaggerating :)

Anonymous said...

So you're afraid of failure ? :) everyone is, and truth is, it will probably fail, but who cares, what're you gonna do for the rest of your life anyway ? that cat always needs to be belled :)

PS. Why not start one (or join one) online ?