Shamini Flint has won a three book publishing deal with Little Brown for her crime thrillers but today she read to us from two of her children's books The Seeds of Time (which she launched in Ubud) and Ten about a football mad girl witnessing the break-up of her parent's marriage.
Singer-songwriter Reza Salleh gave us a set of songs before the interval which added wonderfully to the festive atmosphere.
The after a break for chat and delicious cake, with much bookselling going on thanks to MPH and authors who brought their own books along, we had our lucky drawer for brand new books with 11 lucky winners!
Preeta Samarasan read from Evening is the Whole Day. The last time she appeared at Seksan's was before the book was published - this time, many of us had read the book and could enjoy her reading from it even more. I was a bit naughty and asked Preeta to read from her most controversial chapter, with Truth and Rumour dancing in the streets on May 13th. It was a section that made me gasp when I first read it because it says the kinds of things folks are afraid to say out loud in Malaysia.
The personal also echoed the historical in the extract Man Asia Prize longlisted Chiew-Siah Tei read from Little Hut of Leaping Fishes where Mingxi's wife dies in childbirth and the reform movement is also still born. Although set in China, this novel illustrates the forces that drove many Chinese (including Chiew-Siah's ancestors) to the Malay peninsula. We really look forward to the next two novels in her trilogy.
Can I just shout from the rooftop how wonderful it was to have these authors here and to celebrate their successes? YAY!!
Lansell didn't make it to this Readings but don't worry, I will not let him off so easily.
Nothing happens without our lovely supportive audience. I was so surprised to see Kadek Kris, one of the organisers of the Ubud Writers Festival. You can see Bernice in the white shirt in the background with her two beautiful daughters, and Na'a Murad (actor and Jit's little brother).
Apologies to the folks I stared through glassy eyed ... I am a bit incoherant sometimes when I'm worrying about everything it's possible to worry about. Jane Sunshine, why didn't I give you a big hug?
Many thanks to Seksan for use of his beautiful space and to my friends who keep me calm and help me set up everything quickly and efficently and then quietly clear up afterwards - Chet, leon, Eugene, Saabdev - very many thanks. Thanks too to Eric and MPH.