Monday, November 30, 2009

Remembering Yasmin Ahmad

Yasmin Ahmad's Films by Amir Muhammad (RM 30.00)

Yasmin Ahmad left a vibrant legacy, and it is still strange to talk about her in the past tense.

In order to deal with his grief, Amir Muhammad, fellow Malaysian filmmaker and friend, watched anew her six feature-length films (Rabun, Sepet, Gubra, Mukhsin, Muallaf and Talentime), as well as several of her most popular commercials. Neither an obituary nor a conventional work of film criticism, this book was written just a month after her funeral and is Amir's personal look at the stories, but with quite a few tangents of his own.

Chatty and informative, Yasmin Ahmad's Films can be devoured not only by established fans but newcomers to her work. It is also a tribute to one of Malaysia's most amazing daughters.

Other new Malaysian books:
1. Planter Upriver by Mahbob Abdullah
2. Penang Under the East India Company 1786-1858 by Andrew Barber
(All these books are available at the Silverfish Online Bookstore).

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Taste of Terengganu

Kulit Manis: A Taste of Terengganu's Heritage by To' Puan Rosita Abdullah -- Yayasan Prihatin (RM250.00)

Kulit Manis: A Taste of Terengganu's Heritage, is an unusual cookbook in that it is a 252 page literary 'heirloom'. Kulit Manis is a labour of love, a painstaking journey which reconnects the author, To' Puan Rosita, to her beloved state. Indeed, the author discovered many things that she had forgotten or never knew about Terengganu.

Kulit Manis takes a look at Terengganu's heritage from its culinary history. It delights readers with anecdotes and stories on personalities behind the recipes. It is a respectful appreciation of history, culture, places, nature and the citizens of Terengganu. The eighty-eight recipes in the book represent the true flavour of Terengganu; be it Malay, Chinese or Indian, or an amalgamation of all the three cultures. The recipes are unusual in that most of them require the chef to be instinctive: most have no precise measurements -- with a pinch of this and a dash of that. But they are all works of love.

The beautiful and energetic To' Puan Rosita Abdullah is as keen and passionate about cooking, as she is excited about Terengganu's heritage and culture.

Kulit Manis took three years to complete, juggling her roles as a housewife and mother, and interviewing strangers for recipes and history. She made many friends as she discovered new secrets about her home state. And the more she learned, the more she loved Terengganu.