... a sulky young man who smells like freshly-pressed laundry.* He takes stunning photographs ... but (it is said) they are nothing compared to his beautiful, detailed work in cross-stitch. ... He tap dances. He enjoys skinny-dipping. And climbing trees. He loves horses, especially unicorns. He dislikes children, but thinks they might be delicious curried, or roasted and served with carrots and potatoes. Sufian claims that he was once nearly murdered by a witch.But most importantly :
Sufian Abas is on a mission to save Malay fiction by producing works that people would actually want to read.written in :
... the sort of Malay you hear on the street ... the Malay people actually use and understand ...And he's conscious of filling a gap (presently almost uninhabited!) between what he calls the heavy literary prose and and the sort of trash you find in Malay romance novels. He also, and I think this is a particularly interesting point, urges non-Malay writers to write to Malay because they would bring something different to the language.
Anyway Daphne likes Sufian's book ... better than two other local collections she didn't think as good as they were cracked up to be on the blogs. (Blog?) Ahem. Never mind. We fought it out at the Food Foundry yesterday in between mouthfuls of toast and scrambled eggs . Chaque'un à son goût ... in short story collections as in breakfast dishes.
Priya K. reviews Sufian's book and finds the stories :
... snappy and heartbreaking ... the writing style is deceptively simple, opting for everyday language and pop culture references. The result is street poetry, with classic lines such as “dengan air mata berlenagan dan berkilauan seperti bebola disko” (with tears shining like disco balls). ... Philosophic pulp fiction, if I may venture to coin a term.My review of Nikita Lalwani's Gifted is in Starmag today though with a Borders voucher when Kinokuniya was kind enough to give me the copy of the book which is a bit embarrassing. But never mind ... there is a 30% discount voucher for selected titles from Kino to clip out.**
Ted reviews Hitomi Kanehara's Auto Fiction (and reminds me that I still want to buy her Snakes and Earrings) and Martin Spice John Le Carre's Mission Song.
There's news too of bookstore events in April including of a free creative writing workshop to be run by Kam Raslan at MPH.
(*Hmm, just how close did Daphne get?)
(** There's a strange and sad postscript I want to stick at the end of my original post on the book.)