Friday, August 01, 2008

Uncovering the Real Faisal

An Islamic extremist? An ultra-nationalist? A West basher? A national laureate in the making?

Award-winning author Faisal Tehrani has been accused of all of the above, but Bissme S. digs among the misconceptions for the truth in a Sun interview. Along the way he finds out how Faisal first got started as a writer, how he was encouraged by a couple of other great Malay authors, and how he became politically and socially aware.

I'm glad that Faisal talks about how he feels there is a market for serious Malay language literature (he's a lot more positive than most other commentators have been) and agree with him about the need for translation, not just into English but across Malaysian languages.

I would very much like to read Faisal's novels as I've heard them highly praised, but have yet to find any translations into English.


Ted Mahsun said...

I have to hand it to Bissme. It's a very good interview. I also liked his other interviews with other Malay authors (one that comes to mind was the one he did with Ahadiat Akashah).

These interviews shed light on issues about the authors that most people have misconceptions or misunderstandings on. It's refreshing to read the authors explain themselves.

The Malay media don't do as good a job in interviews with these authors and usually take the easy way out by asking "easy" questions.

As for Faisal, he's a very good writer as well as being an overall nice guy in person. I personally like his book 1515 very much, but find his more recent works pedantic and preachy. Have yet to read his latest two books though, of which one of them, I think, Sharon, you will like the cover very much!

It's called Manikam Kalbu and the cover has a drawing of a fat cat wearing a hat using one of those old Singer sewing machines. It's worth buying for the cover alone!

Web Sutera said...

What ever it is, I still like him & love to read his novels. I hope that someone will translates his books to English, soon, because he has what many Malay novelist don't.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks both. i really feel i'm missing our not being able to read him because i hear how good he is time and time again!

bissme is a good interviewer and does ask all the right things. for folks like me who don't really read malay well it is a very useful insight into what is being written in BM about which i have acres of ignorance - but i really do want to know!!

i missed the earlier interview Bissme did with Ahadiat Akashah and will go read it now.

will also check out the book cover, ted.