Sunday, October 07, 2007

Developing Asian Literature

The Stars Rise in the East panel discussion. (From left) Nury Vittachi (moderator) Xu XI, Nicholas Jose and Madeleine Thien considered what kind of animal Asian Writing is, whether writers find the label useful, and where and how it's best for Asian writers to get published.

I was so pleased to finally meet Xu Xi because I chose one of her stories for the Collateral Damage anthology and we exchanged e-mails at the time. (Had I known what an impressive track record of publications she has, I think I would have held back from suggesting "improvements" to her story! Haha.)

Immediately after the session there was a launch party for a new regional support network: the Asia Pacific New Writing Partnership, which sounds incredibly exciting and is surely something that can be used to help our own writing community here grow. (Please do check it out here, and on the Sydney Morning Herald's blog.) I later had a chat to (Asia Pacific) Executive Director, Jane Camens and we exchanged contacts. I really hope something comes of it - funding, events, courses.

Asia was also the topic of another panel the following day, not surprisingly, with Korean author Lee Hye Kyung, Singapore's Catherine Lim, and Indonesia's Deborah Yatim. The women shared what had influenced their writing.

I had read some of Catherine Lim's short stories and very much enjoyed them. Nothing though had prepared me for what a lively woman she is. The stories just spill out, and they're all fascinating. (I hope they get written!) I invited her up to KL to do a reading and she said she'd love to come, but she doesn't read, she only wants to talk to her audience!

Next time someone asks me who my ideal dinner party guest would be - i think I'll choose Catherine!


Hanafi Mohd Noor said...

Asian literature is rich and beautiful and should be shared all over the world. nice job.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I tend to think most literature are about tragedy and loss.

sky said...

I'm really curious what makes Asian lit Asian.

Close to home we have an active discussion on the Filipino-ness of Pinoy literature.

sky said...

Forgot this--

Butch Dalisay gives a well-written insight on how Filipino we can get on our own literature. Maybe it can be extended to Asian lit as well.

(scroll down to Oct 7 entry)

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sharon, you are so active in both the reading and writing of literature that I want to invite you to a new blog I started three weeks ago. You could share what you've learned about Asian culture, Malaysian literature, all sorts of things. Many of the people I've gathered up were talking about books chosen over the years by Oprah Winfrey (a television celebrity in the USA), but now they are ready to branch out. Would you like to be a part of our discussion group? Read my first post here:

I know you would add a lot to whatever books we read over the years. So far we have Canadians, Australians, one woman from India, one woman from the Netherlands, some from the UK, and lots from all over the United States. I hope you'll consider it.

bibliobibuli said...

bonnie - very many thanks for the invite. would love to be part of your discussion group! and i also like to discover new reads!

bibliobibuli said...

sky - thanks so much for the links too. i'll check them out

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sharon, I'll send you the official blogger invitation, so look for it. The group is Book Buddies:

Follow directions when you get it, and you will be granted permission to post on the Book Buddies blog.

bibliobibuli said...

many thanks, Bonnie! see you there

Jane Camens said...

Hi Sharon,

Good for you for starting this blog. If you or anyone is intereted in keying into what is happening with the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership, take a look at our site in development:

All the best

bibliobibuli said...

thanks so much, jane. i was actually reading the site this morning and bookmarked it to blog about. there's such a need for links of this kind. the mechanism for making it happen at this end is perhaps the first hurdle to overcome.

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