1) One of the most interesting local poetry collections I have come across, Charlene Rajendran’s MANGOSTEEN CRUMBLE (1999, Team East) has been out of print for many years. I’ve decided to bring it back into circulation by turning it into a book that is not a book. (Eh, what talking me?) I am making the whole book available online, at the rate of one poem per day, starting today at noon, right up to May 8. Let Charlene be your day-time Sheherazade. Taste the words for yourself over at http://mangosteen-crumble.blogspot.com/ and if you like ‘em, bookmark the blog and spread da word. I also wrote about the book in my Malay Mail column today.Hmmm ... taxi driver conversations have also of course been served up quite recently by Khaled Al Khamissi (his book Taxi was republished here last year by ZI Publications), and of course in the form of poetry by Chris Mooney-Singh in a really fun collection called The Laughing Buddha Cab Company. Taxi drivers in Malaysia and Singapore are a breed apart - though I personally don't think anyone else's match up to this one! (But then, I'm biased.)
2. Ahem! I will, of course, be publishing Charlene’s second book, TAXI TALES ON A CROOKED BRIDGE, her non-fiction book based on her conversations with the taxi drivers of Singapore, where she now lives and works. It’s not a book of poetry although there are some pointed poems. It’s a quirky, lively take on all kinds of politics, and is in a rather unusual shape too. (No, it’s not shaped like a taxi). It’s about to go to the printer and will be launched 9 May 4pm as part of the 2nd KL Alternative Bookfest (KLAB) at The Annexe, Central Market, KL. Charlene will be in KL for that whole weekend (9/10 May) so if you’d like to interview her for your newspaper or magazine or blog, do let me know, and I will make sure you get the book in advance.
3. The editors Jerome and Pang are almost done with the selection for BODY 2 BODY, the first Malaysian anthology of queer writing, where you don’t even have to be gay to take part! They will pick 20 out of the 59 submissions. There are enough good entries, so we don’t have to extend the deadline. The successful writers will be informed by 7 April, as will the ones who didn’t get chosen.
4. PEKAN SEHARI SHAH ALAM. Matahari Books has a booth at this new monthly event, which takes place Saturday 25 April at Laman Menara Jam, Dataran Shah Alam, from 3-9pm. As the place-name suggests, just look for the clock tower. The very next day, we will be back at the Amcorp Mall flea market, 10am-6pm. When we were at Amcorp last month, we had buyers from as far away as Mexico! 5. BUKU UNTUK FILEM:ESTET is done but can’t be released as the film does not yet have a confirmed release date. And the book has to come out at the same time. We can wait. Have a good month ahead, yawl. regards, amir. 012 2311 584 firstname.lastname@example.org
Aren't you impressed with the publisher who sets up table in flea markets to sell his books? I really am.
I've been meaning to blog about Amir's reviews again for a while. Every week they appear the The Malay Mail and every week they are really interesting reads - especially for me as many of the books he reviews are out of print or in Malay. Do go spend some time browsing them on his blog.
Oh darn it, why not put up a picture of Amir since I'm in his fan club? Here he is (right) with Reza Rosli at Readings@Seksan on Saturday and the picture is stolen from Azwan's Facebook page.