There is a very nice piece today in The Sun about Sufian Abas and Ruhayat X, plugging their recent publications.
Sufian, the author of Kasut Biru Rubina is not too happy with being called "alternative", feeling the word is over used. Instead he wants to make fiction in Bahasa Malaysia more accessible to the masses :
It is not about changing the literature scene. I want to create books that I want to read ...The shy guy who does not like giving interviews tells the interviewer :
You can invent anything about me …. You can say I was a kampung boy who was gang-raped by beruks (apes). A writer should not say anything. It is his work that should be talking.Ruhayat X sees Aweks KL as :
... a platform for new voices to emerge ... If they [these writers] had submitted their works to Utusan Malaysia or Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, it would never have been published. ... It doesn’t mean these writers have nothing legitimate to say. I think they should be able to say it; then, we will have a more colourful culture instead of a culture that is just dictated by a certain establishment.And he's actually quite proud that the National Library refused to co-launch the book!
I do not know whether this book is daring or not ... From what I understand, the writers are just writing whatever they felt was the truth. What’s surprising is that a majority of the stories deal with deprivation. That should say something about Malaysian culture. ... Some people are surprised by the themes. Some are repulsed but at the same time attracted to them ... I just thought these people should be heard. It is not supposed to be provocative; it is supposed to be a reflection of the plural culture we live in.(Picture is nicked from The Sun which nicked it from my blog! Haha.)