Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ripples and other stories

RipplesRipples and other stories by Shih-Li Kow (RM 30.00)

Shih-Li just keeps on getting better and better. In her first full book of short stories (which, incidentally has been nominated for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize in the First Book category), Shih Li's delicate touch and turn of phrase continues. She says she loves writing and obviously means it. She will not let any excuse get in the way of her passion. She holds a full time job working six days a week, and is a loving single mother with a ten-year-old.

"... If you were getting tired of fiction, this is the place to have your faith renewed in the beauty and the terror of the imaginary.

I recommend that you read the stories in order of appearance. Unexpected delights will emerge: characters, locations and events from earlier stories will pop up in subsequent ones, adding shade and dimension to the earlier appearances. Things connect -- not in a mystery-solving way, but because even seemingly random occurrences have a history behind them. And since these connections occur in a social environment like Malaysia, they get complicated further by our famously fraught cultural and historical matrices."

-- Amir Muhammad, Malay Mail, 31st December 2008.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sun Yat Sen in Penang by Khoo Salmah Nasution (RM 30.00)

Sun Yat Sen'You can help shoulder the responsibility of saving our country by donating your money, while our comrades in our country are sacrificing their lives'

Sun Yat Sen in the famous speech he made in Penang, 1910

The Second Guangzhou Uprising (also called the Canton March 29 Uprising), a turning point of the 1911 Chinese Revolution, was planned from a place 2,400 km away -- in Penang in present-day Malaysia.

As a young revolutionary, Dr. Sun Yat Sen traveled widely and lived amongst the Chinese Communities abroad, including Japan, North America and Southeast Asia. He mobilized the overseas Chinese with the dream of saving the Chinese nation.

In 1910, when success seemed most remote, Dr. Sun turned to his followers in Penang. The Penang Philomatic Union became the Tongmenghui party's Nanyang Headquarters, raising funds and fighters for the Second Guangzhou Uprising and acting decisively to help consolidate the Xinhai Revolution.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Anwar and Mahathir

AnwarThe Asian Renaissance by Anwar Ibrahim (Publisher: Marshall Cavendish, RM 44.60)

The renaissance of Asia entails the growth, development and flowering of Asian societies based on a certain vision of perfection; societies imbued with truth and the love of learning, justice and compassion, mutual respect and forbearance, and freedom and responsibility. It is the transformation of its cultures and societies from its capitulation to Atlantic powers to the position of self-confidence and its reflowering at the dawn of a new millennium.

MahathirThe Malay Dilemma by Mahathir bin Mohamad (Publisher: Marshall Cavendish, RM 44.40)

...first published in 1970 to much controversy. Dr Mahathir's interpretation of events caused him to be called upon to defend his statements and claims.

This is not an objective book. Nevertheless, it is published because it is what an educated modern, progressive Malay thinks and believes ... The arguments in the Malay Dilemma reveal the author's reactions to the pressing problems of the day, and show how a politically inclined Malay understands the past, explains the behaviour of his own people and the behaviour of the immigrants, and foresees the future.