Tuesday, March 02, 2010

An Alien's Bottom, Enlightenment, and Tossed Luck

We had a smaller crowd than usual for Readings@Seksan this month - it was the last weekend of Chinese New Year  and a long weekend, so a lot of folks I think were out of town or partying.

My husband, Abu, had been kind enough to donate a couple of good speakers and buy me an amplifier to use at the event, to replace the toy of a sound system we've been getting by on all these years.   And my, what a big difference it makes.

Chaizani was brave enough to start us off. She had come all the way from Kota Bahru with mum and sister in tow for the event. She says that having grown up on three continents (her family moved to Australia when she was seven), she got used to being the outsider, and became "a seasoned observer of people and places"

She read the first chapter of her book From Out-er Space (Marshall Cavendish) an engaging extract entitled What Happened to Your Bottom? in which she pondered all the things we inherit from our forebears.

Chaizani now teaches at Universiti Sains Malaysia's School of Language, Literacy and Translation in Kubang Keriang, Kelantan.

Damyanti Ghosh is a good writing buddy of mine. She's been an established freelance writer for various magazines and journals and is also the editor of the fashion section of lifeinitaly.com. I am so happy to see her getting her fiction into print now. She had a piece published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and two of her stories will be published in 2010 in the anthology, Love and Lust in Singapore.

She read a short piece that she had written on a writing workshop in Singapore the previous weekend and it sounded very good.

Dato M. SHANmugaligam, of course needs no introduction to anyone is literary circles in Malaysia.  Shan recently won the So You Think You Can Write contest organised by The British Council, the other week.  Today he read from his story Kandiah and his Hair - an amusing tale despite the dark setting of the the Japanese occupation.

Jamie Khoo is another longtime book-loving friend.  After working for The star and freelancing for various magazines, her life tuned when she met H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and joined the Kechara Buddhist organisation in 2005.  She is now one of the Senior Editors of the dynamic young publisher, Kechara Media & Publications and Liaison (personal assistant) to Rinpoche. Call Me Paris is her first book.

After Jamie, David's colleague read. He also had a story to tell of his encounter with H. E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche who, he says, "turned his world upside down and told him to write - something he never thought he'd ever be doing".  The result was his book There’s No Way But Up. He has also collaborated a photography-inspired travel book, entitled Vajrayogini and Other Sacred Power Places in Nepal

Eelen Lee had her first fiction published in Urban Odysseys, and I really like what I've heard of her work, especially the story which was a runner-up in the MPH short-story competition The Englishman at Table 19, a ghost story set in Fraser's Hill.   

Afterwards some of us went to Country farms at Bangsar village where we tossed up a distressingly healthy organic Yee Sang. Here's Amir Muhammad and Eric Forbes. Lo hei! (Toss luck!)

All my usual thank yous -  to all who came and all who read, to Seksan for the great space, and to those who helped in any way. See you all again on March 27th!

Hic Sunt Dracones has a write-up of the event and some beautiful pictures.


Oxymoron said...

Hmm ... I thought the Brit Council contest was to unearth "new" talent. Dato Shan must be pretty well-known already. Or maybe there is no new talent?

katztales said...

Looks like a good sesh. I'm intrigued by the bottom!

bibliobibuli said...

Oxy - yeah, ironic, ain't it? there was plenty of new talent but those who remained to the end clearly still liked Shan's story best.

katztales - it's all there Chaizani's book!

Damyanti said...

I look like I'm about to pass out...Amir is right, I am "delicately ethereal" when I'm reading, cos I could disappear into the land of the "fainted" any minute! :D

bibliobibuli said...

you did good damyanti - another challenge in life taken! reading aloud is an important skill for a writer.