Friday, June 20, 2008

Little Launch with Happy Booklovers

Siew-Chiah Tei's Little Hut of Leaping Fishes had its launch last night at the British Council and a good sized crowd turned up to cheer her on. I was given the honour of introducing her and started with a mention of "the quiet emergence" of Malaysian literature on the world stage. I forgot to mention in my speech (so make up for it here) that it was the first time that the British Council and book distributors Pansing had worked in partnership to organise an event and it seemed to work out very well for both of them - and certainly for us, the booklovers!

The author then she spoke a little about her book and how it came to be written and read an extract from the opening:

This is, incidentally, the novel's first launch ahead of the release in the UK next month (it has already been released in Australia) and it was lovely to be part of that.

Later, while the author signed copies for the guests (who found a copy of the book in their goody bags!), we had a nice little party with nibbles and the music of the guzheng playing gently in the background. (And how nice for me - some folks who comment pseudononymously on this blog emerged into the light of real life!)

In an earlier session, Chiew-Siah had given a talk about some of the things to consider when writing a novel, and illustrated the talk with examples of how she worked through each challenge. Writing must come from the heart, she said, otherwise it won't touch the heart of the reader.

I will tell you much more about Chiew-Siah and the novel soon as I will be writing up my interview notes for features in Starmag and Off The Edge.

If you're hungry for more in the meantime, you can find an extract from the novel here.


Eric Forbes said...

It was very generous of Pansing to give everyone a copy of Chiew-Siah's Little Hut of Leaping Fishes. Thank you very much!grnhft

bibliobibuli said...

wasn't that just incredible!

Web Sutera said...

Alamak! Why i didn't know bout this? Opss..I'm not in the loop, maybe (sigh..)

flyingegg said...

Hi! I was there last night and I was really pleasantly suprised that she gave out free copies of the books!

Unfortunately my girlfriend bought a copy before last night and now she's thinking of who to give the extra copy to. Now we have three copies. :D

It's really inspiring for us Malaysians that after Tash Aw and Tan Twan Eng, Chiew-Siah Teh is joing the ranks and getting recognition globally. With her book in hand, I also can't wait to get my hands on Preeta's Evening is the Whole Day. Thanks for the recommendation last night. :-)

Wanted to say hi to you last night but was feeling a bit sheepish! Think I will blog about the event too. Can't wait to read yours in Starmag and OTE!



Lydia Teh said...

Sharon, was thinking of going but the thought of braving the evening traffic (either by road or via LRT) was so daunting, I just gave up! I was wondering what the goodie bag might contain and did suspect that it may hold a copy of the book. Very generous.

Max, here's a deal for you. If you'd give me the book, I'll give you a copy of my book - either Honk! if you're Malaysian or Life's Like That. How's that? If you're keen, pls email me at

bibliobibuli said...

web sutera - the invite was on this blog!!!

flying egg - i would have loved to have said hello to you! next time huh? pass on the extra book with your love to someone you think will read it (lydia would be a good person!!!!) - or you could bookcross it so it gets passed forward ... and if anyone wants to repay kindness, read the book and put a note on your blog or on amazon or such

lydia - the rain and traffic were horrible, don't blame you for not wanting to make the effort

i think there are a lot of happy people!

marineko said...

walked in the rain to get to the event, but it was worth it! also i finally met you in person, even though i had to leave early (-_-)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Chiew-Siah! Sounds like it was a lovely event.

Sharon, the link to the excerpt (not the video but the text exerpt) isn't working for me. Dunno if anyone else is having the same problem....?


Chet said...


Delete this bit from the front part of the URL -

bibliobibuli said...

sorry preeta 'tis the damned gremlin - shoulda checked. if you accidentally leave a gap in the address a piece of code gets added.

marineko - so very nice to see you at last! we must talk one day!