The new anthology, News from Home, by Raman's protogees (Chua Kok Yee, Kow Shih-Li, Rumaizah Abu Bakar) will also be launched.
Raman adds an interesting footnote in this entry:
Malaysian literature in English series(My emphasis.) So does this mean that writers are supposed to only write about what they know?
News from home will be the first book to carry this sticker (though) we may decide to put it on some of our previous books that we think qualify - Lloyd Fernando, Salleh ben Joned, Huzir Sulaiman and some others surely will). So what is Malaysian literature in English.? The English part is clear enough. So what is Malaysian? Should the author(s) be Malaysian? No, we think not. It could be anyone who lives in or who has lived in Malaysia and has a unique perspective of what we are all about (besides the tourism brochure saccharine sweet bullshit and the whingy-whiny, angsty, everything-sucks crap). And that pretty much will define the word literature as well. Good stories well told, in a nutshell. Good poetry, good plays, good fiction and good travel writing is what we will be looking for. But if you are Malaysian and you write about Beverley Hills or Manhattan with no experience of either, I guess you will not be part of the series, lor. We will not publish you anyway. But then, maybe, others will.
DBC Pierre won the Booker with a novel set in an American he hadn't visited ... Stef Penney had never been to Canada but won the Costa this year with a novel set in its frozen wastes. The examples are numerous so I'm sure you can add to the list.
And it goes without saying that authors of historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy cannot possibly visit the places they describe in their books.
Why set an artificial limit on what can or can't be written about? The only criteria, surely, is that the fiction must convince the reader!