Sunday, March 01, 2009

Revealing Fatimah's Secrets

... it was my experience of Maznoor and her family, and all the stories she told me (of her childhood, of her family, of her various houses and kampungs), that gave me the format for Fatimah’s Kampung ... A million little details eventually, and very slowly, came together: trips with Maznoor in Borneo forests and on the back roads around Selangor and Perak; visits to family graves; walks with my Batu Pahat brother-in-law into the forest of Gunung Soga and around Johor kampungs; explorations of building sites with my little niece Hanna; a visit to a keramat, a family wedding, my sister-in-law’s kitchen garden. Eventually, I found that I was celebrating Maznoor’s family, celebrating all I loved about Malaysia, and paraphrasing my old lectures in a more presentable way, all at the same time.
Fatimah's Kampung author, Iain Buchanan, is interviewed by Daphne Lee in Starmag today and also talks about how the book was created. You realise just what an incredible project and painstaking labour of love the book was.

Buchanan's Maznoor wife sums it all up beautifully :
We have no children but Fatimah’s Kampung is a deep and touching tribute to a loving life together. It took eight years to see the light of day but it will last to the end of our days and beyond.

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