Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bernice and Thuan Chye Tell Tell

Tell magazine is one of my favourites on the newsstand for its well written and intelligent content. I am sad that I missed a few issues in the beginning, but now it's a must buy.

The present issue has a couple of nice pieces on local authors. Bernice Chauly is interviewed by Michelle Gunaselan about her latest collection of poetry The Book of Sins.

Bernice talks about the significance of the title, the concept of sin (around which she structures the book), about being taught Cathecism by nuns in her mission school (an experience that does rather scar one for life!), about her parents introducing her to books (her mother made her read Ayn Rand at 12!) and about how it feels to get up and read poetry which is so personal in public.

Elsewhere, Mustapha Mahidin meets playwright Kee Thuan Chye and his family. I've always loved the names he chose for his children: Soraya Sunitra Kee Xian Yin is his daughter, and Jebat Arjuna Kee Jia Liang is his son. (I first came across them in the dedication to We Could **** You, Mr. Birch). MalayIndianChinese elements all in one!

The current also features a tribute to Benazir Bhutto and (very topically) a piece on hidden cameras in hotel rooms and how to detect 'em.


Anonymous said...

Those are really lovely names! Truly Malaysian.

I wish I could subscribe to the magazine online. I'm hoping more Malaysian publications will move in that direction -- so many expatriates, after all, and internet subscriptions mean fewer air miles and less paper....

I bet Bernice and I were scarred by some of the same nuns. I should ask her. There was one who said my putting my hands on her desk was a sign of "ill breeding." It made me feel like a horse.

-- Preeta

bibliobibuli said...

i was also scarred by nuns ... and that was in britain!

yes, shame it isn't online

a malaysian in riyadh said...

The family photo of Thuan Chye is so gorgeous. Not skema (Does Amir explain the meaning of this word in NME1?) at all.

bibliobibuli said...

he spells it "skima" and defines it as " to go by the book, be the nerd in the herd. ... malay slang, probably derived from 'skim pelajaran' (educational scheme) that refers to the school syllabus."

nice word and now tucked into my own vocab