Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oprah's Pick ... Cormac McCARTHY's The Road (2006)

“Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world.” The Road (2006)

GORGEOUS talk-show maven Oprah Winfrey has selected Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) as her book-club pick. The Road is a bleak, post-apocalyptic study of a dystopian America driven by the affinity between a father and son as they try to survive in an austere, empty world. McCarthy, who is known for his economical prose and rural landscapes, is the legendarily reclusive author of such novels as All the Pretty Horses (1992), Blood Meridian (1985) and Suttree (1979). What can I say: it’s a brilliant choice!

Bibliography
McCARTHY Cormac [1933-] Novelist. Born Charles McCarthy in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S. Novels The Road (2006); No Country for Old Men (2005); The Border Trilogy [comprising Cities of the Plains (1998); The Crossing (1994); All the Pretty Horses (1992: winner of the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and the 1992 National Book Award for Fiction)]; Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West (1985); Suttree (1979); Child of God (1974); Outer Dark (1968); The Orchard Keeper (1965: winner of the Faulkner Award for a First Novel)

Recommended
Novels The Road (2006); All the Pretty Horses (1992)]; Blood Meridian or, The Evening Redness in the West (1985); Suttree (1979)

Monday, March 26, 2007

The 3rd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers at MPH Bangsar Village II

WHAT’S ON IN APRIL 2007

THE 3rd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, April 28, 2007, will feature Kuala Lumpur-based journalist Dina Zaman, whose new book, I Am Muslim (Silverfish Books, 2007), a collection of essays, was published by Silverfish Books in March 2007; Farish A. Noor, the author of such Malaysian bookstore staples as The Other Malaysia (Silverfish Books, 2003) and From Majapahit to Putrajaya (Silverfish Books, 2005); and Larry Parr, the writer of Tan Chin Nam: Never Say I Assume! (MPH Publishing, 2006), an autobiography of one of Malaysia’s leading captains of industry. Dina Zaman will be introduced by Sharon Bakar. Farish A. Noor and Larry Parr will be introduced by Eric Forbes.


COMING NEXT

THE 4th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, May 26, 2007, will feature Malaysian Flavours (Pelanduk Publications, 1996) author Lee Su Kim, whose new book, A Nyonya in Texas: Insights of a Straits Chinese Woman in the Lone Star State (Marshall Cavendish, 2007), was published by Marshall Cavendish at the tail-end of 2006, and David Byck, the author of It’s a Long Way to the Floor (Johnathan Styles, 2006). David will be sharing with us how practising yoga regularly has positively changed him physically, mentally and spiritually. He will also speak about how he started writing about yoga and read some extracts from his book. Both writers are not bloggers. Lydia Teh will be introducing Lee Su Kim, while David Byck will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 5th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, June 23, 2007, will feature Zhang Su Li, an award-winning copywriter who has just come out with her first travel book called A Backpack and a Bit of Luck (Marshall Cavendish, 2007), and Adeline Loh, whose first book, Peeing in the Bush: The Misadventures of Two Asian Girls in Zambia (MPH Publishing, July 2007), also a travel narrative, is being edited at the moment. Zhang Su Li will be introduced by Sharon Bakar while Adeline Loh will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 6th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, July 28, 2007, will feature Tinling Choong, whose début novel, FireWife, was published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on January 23, 2007. Born and bred in Penang, Malaysia, Tinling is working towards her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University. “FireWife,” according to Tinling, “is a story of plight and hope, escape and desire, offering vignettes in the lives of eight Asian women: a photographer, six women she photographs, and a girl travelling in between lives.” In January 2007, FireWife was nominated for the Henry Miller Award for the best literary sex scene published in the English language. And yes, she is a blogger.

Kenny Mah will be conducting a Q&A session with Tinling.

MPH Bangsar Village II is at Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 603-2287 3600

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

TAN Twan Eng ... The Gift of Rain (2007)

Tan Twan Eng’s much-anticipated début novel, The Gift of Rain (Myrmidon, 2007) is a literary feast of a novel set in the tropical climes of Penang island during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, told with much lyricism, meditativeness and assuredness of touch. Tan has written a well-realised piece of fiction that all Malaysians will be proud of.

Monday, March 19, 2007

2007 Orange Prize for Fiction Longlist

THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION was created in 1995 in response to a growing awareness that often the considerable achievements of women novelists were frequently passed over by the major literary prizes. The Orange Prize is judged exclusively by women, who choose the year’s best novel in English written by a woman. The Orange Prize is now known as the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. (What a strange name for a literary prize! Anyway, I am still calling it by its old name.) The following 20 books have been longlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. There is a Booker Prize winner and a Costa Book of the Year winner among them: Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss) and Stef Penney (The Tenderness of Wolves) respectively. (Desai also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.) And there is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who has received much praise for her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun. Writing a second novel that is better than your first can be a daunting trick to pull off, but she seems to have managed that effortlessly. One of my personal favourites, Jane Harris’s The Observations, is also on the longlist. M.J. Hyland was shortlisted for the 2006 Booker Prize for Fiction for Carry Me Down. Clare Allen’s Poppy Shakespeare, Nell Freudenberger’s The Dissident, Rebecca Gowers’s When to Walk, Jane Harris’s The Observations, Lisa Moore’s Alligator, Catherine O’Flynn’s What Was Lost, Stef Penney’s The Tenderness of Wolves, and Deborah Robertson’s Careless are all first novels.

I believe authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rachel Cusk, Kiran Desai, Jane Harris, Lisa Moore and Anne Tyler stand a very good chance of being on the shortlist.

See if any of your favourites are on the list. Who are on your shortlist?

Longlist
1. Half of a Yellow Sun / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Fourth Estate)
2. Poppy Shakespeare / Clare Allan (Bloomsbury)
3. Arlington Park / Rachel Cusk (Faber & Faber)
4. The Inheritance of Loss / Kiran Desai (Hamish Hamilton)
5. Peripheral Vision / Patricia Ferguson (Solidus)
6. Over / Margaret Forster (Chatto & Windus)
7. The Dissident / Nell Freudenberger (Picador)
8. When to Walk / Rebecca Gowers (Canongate)
9. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers / Xiaolu Guo (Chatto & Windus)
10. The Observations / Jane Harris (Faber & Faber)
11. Carry Me Down / M.J. Hyland (Canongate)
12. The Girls / Lori Lansens (Virago)
13. Alligator / Lisa Moore (Virago)
14. What Was Lost / Catherine O’Flynn (Tindal Street Press)
15. The Tenderness of Wolves / Stef Penney (Quercus)
16. Careless / Deborah Robertson (Sceptre)
17. Afterwards / Rachel Seiffert (Heinemann)
18. Ten Days in the Hills / Jane Smiley (Faber & Faber)
19. Digging to America / Anne Tyler (Chatto & Windus)
20. The Housekeeper / Melanie Wallace (Harvill Secker)

A shortlist of six books will be announced on April 17, 2007, while the winner will be announced on June 6, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The 2nd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers at MPH Bangsar Village II

WHAT’S ON IN MARCH 2007

THE 2nd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers meet is on Saturday, March 24, 2007 (the 4th Saturday of the month), at MPH Bangsar Village II in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 11.00a.m.-12.30p.m. Guests include short-story writer Xeus, the author of Dark City (Midnight Press, 2006), and the desperate housewife of Klang Lydia Teh, the author of Honk! If You’re Malaysian (MPH Publishing, 2007) and Life’s Like That (Pelanduk Publications, 2004). Both are writers who are also avid bloggers.

Xeus will be talking about her experience writing and publishing her first collection of short stories, Dark City. Kuala Lumpur-born Xeus will also talk about her latest collection of stories, Dark City II, which is actually an anthology of stories written by several writers which she is compiling and editing. Xeus will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

Lydia Teh will read some of her anecdotes from her latest book, Honk! If You’re Malaysian and the road to getting published. Klang-born Lydia will be introduced by Kenny Mah.


COMING NEXT

THE 3rd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, April 28, 2007, will feature Kuala Lumpur-based journalist Dina Zaman, whose new book, I Am Muslim (Silverfish Books, 2007), a collection of essays, will be published by Silverfish Books in March 2007; Farish A. Noor, the author of such Malaysian bookstore staples as The Other Malaysia (Silverfish Books, 2003) and From Majapahit to Putrajaya (Silverfish Books, 2005); and Larry Parr, the writer of Tan Chin Nam: Never Say I Assume! (MPH Publishing, 2006), an autobiography of one of Malaysia’s leading captains of industry. Dina Zaman will be introduced by Sharon Bakar. Farish A. Noor and Larry Parr will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 4th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, May 26, 2007, will feature Malaysian Flavours (Pelanduk Publications, 1996) author Lee Su Kim, whose new book, A Nyonya in Texas: Insights of a Straits Chinese Woman in the Lone Star State (Marshall Cavendish, 2007), was published by Marshall Cavendish at the tail-end of 2006, and David Byck, the author of It’s a Long Way to the Floor (Johnathan Styles, 2006). David will be sharing with us how practising yoga regularly has positively changed him physically, mentally and spiritually. He will also speak about how he started writing about yoga and read some extracts from his book. Both writers are not bloggers. Lydia Teh will be introducing Lee Su Kim, while David Byck will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 5th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, June 23, 2007, will feature Zhang Su Li, an award-winning copywriter who has just come out with her first travel book called A Backpack and a Bit of Luck (Marshall Cavendish, 2007), and Adeline Loh, whose first book, Peeing in the Bush: The Misadventures of Two Asian Girls in Zambia (MPH Publishing, July 2007), also a travel narrative, is being edited at the moment. Zhang Su Li will be introduced by Sharon Bakar while Adeline Loh will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 6th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, July 28, 2007, will feature Tinling Choong, whose début novel, FireWife, was published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on January 23, 2007. Born and bred in Penang, Malaysia, Tinling is working towards her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University. “FireWife,” according to Tinling, “is a story of plight and hope, escape and desire, offering vignettes in the lives of eight Asian women: a photographer, six women she photographs, and a girl travelling in between lives.” In January 2007, FireWife was nominated for the Henry Miller Award for the best literary sex scene published in the English language. And yes, she is a blogger.

MPH Bangsar Village II is at Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 603-2287 3600

Friday, March 16, 2007

2007 Miles Franklin Literary Award: Longlist

THE 2007 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist has been announced and include the following eight Australian novels:

1. Theft: A Love Story (2006) / Peter Carey
2. Silent Parts (2006) / John Charalamous
3. The Unknown Terrorist (2006) / Richard Flanagan
4. Beyond the Break (2006) / Sandra Hall
5. Dreams of Speaking (2006) / Gail Jones
6. The Unexpected Elements of Love (2006) / Kate Legge
7. Careless (2006) / Deborah Robertson
8. Carpentaria (2006) / Alexis Wright

A shortlist of five will be announced on April 19, while the winner will be declared on June 21, 2007.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Visit to the Bookshop

TODAY I BOUGHT a couple of great paperbacks at the bookshop. There was Edward P. Jones’s All Aunt Hagar’s Children (2006), Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden (1978), Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly (2005), Stef Penney’s The Tenderness of Wolves (2006), Tinling Choong’s FireWife (2007), Tahir Shah’s The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca (2006), Tahar Ben Jelloun’s The Last Friend (2006), Edward Hirsch’s Poet’s Choice (2006) and, of course, Tan Twan Eng’s much-anticipated début novel, The Gift of Rain (Myrmidon, 2007), a literary feast of a novel set in the tropical climes of Penang island during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya told with much lyricism, meditativeness and assuredness of touch. The Gift of Rain is a well-realised piece of fiction that all Malaysians will be proud of.

London-born Canadian novelist Camilla Gibb’s three titles are all available at the bookstore. Grab a copy or two (or, better still, all three) and get them signed when she makes an appearance sometime at the end of March at the bookstores in Kuala Lumpur and at the 2007 Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival. Sweetness in the Belly is her latest: the story of an English-born nurse who, after the passing of her hippie parents in North Africa, is raised as a Muslim by a Moroccan Sufi scholar. The San Francisco Chronicle thinks it’s an engrossing read, utterly convincing and authentic. Her two previous novels, Mouthing the Words (1999) and The Petty Details of So-and-so’s Life (2002), are not too bad either.

Harper Perennial’s Stranger Than ... series of nonfiction titles from Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes to Alexander Masters’s Stuart: A Life Backwards (2005) look very tempting indeed with their unique covers. Bloomsbury’s 21 Great Reads for the 21st Century from Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eyes (1989) to Joanna Trollope’s Marrying the Mistress (2000) look very titillating with their beautiful covers and won’t look out of place in the library or on your desk. The wonderful thing is, there’s an interesting mix of fiction, nonfiction and children’s titles among them.

BLOOMSBURY’S 21 GREAT READS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Fiction
1. Cat’s Eye / Margaret Atwood
2. The Promise of Happiness / Justin Cartwright
3. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell / Susanna Clarke
4. A Gathering Light / Jennifer Donnelly
5. Middlesex / Jeffrey Eugenides
6. Snow Falling on Cedars / David Guterson
7. The Kite Runner / Khaled Hosseini
8. A Prayer for Owen Meany / John Irving
9. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things / Jon McGregor
10. Fugitive Pieces / Anne Michaels
11. The English Patient / Michael Ondaatje
12. The Map of Love / Ahdaf Soueif
13. The Little Friend / Donna Tartt
14. Frankie and Stankie / Barbara Trapido
15. Marrying the Mistress / Joanna Trollope

Nonfiction
16. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls / Peter Biskind
17. Kitchen Confidential / Anthony Bourdain
18. The Two of Us / Sheila Hancock

Children’s
19. Witch Child / Celia Rees
20. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone / J.K. Rowling
21. Holes / Louis Sachar

Friday, March 09, 2007

2007 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist

THE FOLLOWING SIX BOOKS from around the world have been shortlisted from a longlist of twenty books (culled from a total of 80 titles nominated for the prize) for the 2007 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize:

1. The Book of Chameleons / José Eduardo Agualusa (trans. from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn) (Arcadia)
2. The Story of Blanche and Marie / Per Olov Enquist (trans. from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally) (Harvill Secker)
3. Four Walls / Vangelis Hatziyannidis (trans. from the Greek by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife) (Marion Boyars)
4. Your Face Tomorrow 2: Dance and Dream / Javier Marías (trans. from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa) (Chatto & Windus)
5. Vienna / Eva Menasse (trans. from the German by Anthea Bell) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
6. Shyness and Dignity / Dag Solstad (trans. from the Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad) (Harvill Secker)

The winner will be announced on May 1, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

GUEST BLOGGER: Lydia TEH

CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK ADDICT
A childhood incident transported Lydia Teh to the wonderful world of books

I WAS HIT BY A CAR while cycling to school one day. I was out of school for several days. When I returned to class, my thoughtful classmates presented me with two Enid Blyton books—The Naughtiest Girl in the School and Second Form at Malory Towers. To this day, I can still remember the cover of The Naughtiest Girl in the School. It showed a girl with a mop of curly brown hair with defiant sparkling eyes, standing with arms akimbo.

Despite what critics may say about Enid Blyton (her books have been criticised for their racism, sexism and snobbishness), she has done a great favour for young children the world over. Her stories of talking toys, gnomes, boarding-school girls and young sleuths have captured the hearts of millions of children all over the world. I’m one of the beneficiaries who have acquired a love of reading, thanks to her. I enjoyed all her books, though my favourites were the Famous Five and Secret Seven series.

Secondary school saw me moving on to young detective series like Caroline Keene’s Nancy Drew and Franklin W. Dixon’s The Hardy Boys. I spent so much time in the school library hunting down these books that the librarians saw it fit to rope me in as their secretary. When I get home from school, I had to have a book in hand before I can sit down comfortably for lunch.

The amateur sleuths later lost their appeal to Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome of M&B books (the initials stand for Maths and Biology when speaking in the presence of teachers; at other times they were known as Mills & Boon). I hogged the bookstands set up on five-foot ways. They rented out M&B books for 50 sen a pop which is still cheaper than paying three or four ringgit for a brand-new book.

At about this time, a Filipino family moved into our neighbourhood. The father was a bank manager and the pretty teenage daughter had an entire library of M&B and other romance novels. Gasp! I was like a toddler turned loose in a sweet shop. Gleefully, I borrowed stacks of books at a time and devoured them till the wee hours of the morning. And my mother thought I was studying! Little did she know that I was ensconced in a saccharine romantic world spun by the likes of Janet Dailey, Denise Robins and Barbara Cartland.

After a while, the same old formula in the romance novels began to turn stale and predictable. I was up to my chin with the same old fluffy plots, the same old dashing heroes and swooning heroines, and cookie-cutter kissing scenes. I reached saturation point where one more helpless stammering heroine and one more aristocratic hero with inscrutable expression would make me scream like a banshee.

Exit Mr Handsome and Ms Pretty. Enter Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s eccentric and fastidious Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his “little grey cells”. (I seem to have this thing for detective stories.) Their acute powers of observation and deduction earned my highest admiration. To this day, I’m wont to spout “Elementary, my dear Watson, elementary” when I wanted to sound clever. And not forgetting the kindly but shrewd and irrepressible Miss Jane Marple of St Mary Mead, the English spinster who solves crimes without resorting to fancy high-tech gadgets, relying instead on her feminine sensitivity, empathy and intuitive intelligence.

Sixth Form exposed me to the works of William Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters and poets like Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning. I digested these works in the course of duty rather than the pleasure they could afford but I learnt to respect their skilful penmanship in critical appreciation class. These literature classes stood me in good stead later in life when I would voluntarily pick up copies of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Emma and read them with much enjoyment.

When I joined the nine-to-five brigade, reading was relegated to the back burner. Still, I did find time for the occasional Sidney Sheldon, Arthur Hailey and Stephen King novels. However, when I became a mother, time became the scarcest of commodities. There was hardly time to catch my breath, let alone read a book. Reading had become a luxury.

I remember going on a special holiday once. Hubby had to attend a seminar in Singapore for a few days. I borrowed two thick novels from the library, left the children with my mum and tagged along with him to Singapore. While hubby was out, I holed myself in the hotel room and read till my vision blurred and my temples throbbed. When I went out to grab a bite, the book went with me. When I went down to the pool, I brought the book to read on the sunlounger. That was one unforgettable holiday. I hope some day soon, I’ll have the opportunity to have another such break but it’s going to take some working. Then, I had only two kids; now, there are four.

It is difficult to find time to read books these days. If I do read them, they are confined to how-to books and short-story collections. Something like The Elements of Copywriting or The World’s Greatest Cranks and Crackpots. These don’t have the pull of page-turning novels like John Grisham’s or Amy Tan’s.

I can’t resist a good yarn. I would become like an ostrich. Instead of the head being buried in the sand, mine would be stuck in the book. My eyes would be glued to the pages and my posterior to the chair. Meals would be served late. Children’s whining would be ignored. Hubby’s grumbling would be shut off. Television would have lost its lure.

Nothing beats a good book.

An excerpt from Life’s Like That: Scenes from Malaysian Life, by Lydia Teh (Pelanduk Publications, 324pp, 2004)

LYDIA TEH is a homemaker who enjoys writing while raising her brood of four. In between cooking for her children, chauffeuring them around and coaching them in their studies, she loves observing the quirks and idiosyncrasies of Malaysians. Her second book, Honk! If You’re Malaysian (MPH Publishing, 2007), her follow-up to Life’s Like That: Scenes from Malaysian Life (2004), was published in January 2007.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Madeleine THIEN ... Certainty (2007)

MADELEINE THIEN is the Vancouver-born daughter of East Malaysian-Chinese immigrants. Her first novel, Certainty (Faber & Faber, 2007), a richly textured and nuanced exploration of war, grief and displacement, was first published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada in 2006 and is now reaching out to a wider audience in other parts of the world. Thien has also written a highly acclaimed collection of short stories, Simple Recipes (McClelland & Stewart, 2001), which won a slew of literary awards in Canada.

Bibliography
THIEN Madeleine [1974-] Short-story writer, novelist. Born in Vancouver, Canada. Novel Certainty (2006) Stories Simple Recipes (2001) Juvenile The Chinese Violin (2001)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

March 2007 Highlights

Novels
1. Heyday (2007) / Kurt Andersen
2. Skin Lane (2007) / Neil Bartlett
3. What You Will (2007) / Katherine Bucknell
4. The Devil’s Footprints (2007) / John Burnside
5. Burning Bright (2007) / Tracy Chevalier
6. The Pesthouse (2007) / Jim Crace
7. Over (2007) / Margaret Forster
8. Helpless (2007) / Barbara Gowdy
9. The Book of Air and Shadows (2007) / Michael Gruber
10. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) / Mohsin Hamid

11. You Don’t Love Me Yet (2007) / Jonathan Lethem
12. Two Caravans (published as Strawberry Fields in the U.S.) (2007) / Marina Lewycka
13. The Widow and Her Hero (2007) / Thomas Keneally
14. What the Dead Know (HarperCollins Publishers, 2007) / Laura Lippman
15. The Rebels (2007) / Sándor Márai [trans. from the Hungarian (1930) by George Szirtes]
16. A Far Country (2007) / Daniel Mason
17. When the Light Goes (2007) / Larry McMurtry
18. The Year of Fog (Random House, 2007) / Michelle Richmond
19. Animal’s People (2007) / Indra Sinha
20. Ghostwalk (2007) / Rebecca Stott
21. The Amnesiac (2007) / Sam Taylor

21. Boy in the World (2007) / Niall Williams
22. A Curious Earth (2007) / Gerard Woodward

First Novels
1. A Golden Age (2007) / Tahmima Anam
2. According to Ruth (2007) / Jane Feaver
3. The Sound of Butterflies (2007) / Rachael King
4. The God of Animals (2007) / Aryn Kyle
5. The Gift of Rain (2007) / Tan Than Eng
6. Certainty (2007) / Madeleine Thien

Stories
1. The Friend of Women and Other Stories (2007) / Louis Auchincloss
2. Missing Kissinger (2007) / Etgar Keret (trans. from the Hebrew by Miriam Schlesinger and Sondra Silverston)
3. Here and Somewhere Else: Stories and Poems (2007) / Grace Paley and Robert Nichols

Poetry
1. How the Bicycle Shone: New and Selected Poems (2007) / Gillian Allnutt
2. Domestic Violence (2007) Eavan Boland
3. Gift Songs (2007) / John Burnside
4. Blackbird and Wolf (2007) / Henri Cole
5. The Speed of Dark (2007) / Ian Duhig
6. The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 (Graywolf Press, 2007) / Albert Goldbarth
7. Magnetic North (2007) / Linda Gregerson
8. Waterlight: Selected Poems (2007) / Kathleen Jamie
9. The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2007) / David Kirby
10. Sleeping and Waking (Flood Editions, 2007) / Michael O’Brien
11. Space Walk (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) / Tom Sleigh

Nonfiction
1. Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey (2007) / James Attlee
2. The Father of All Things (2007) / Tom Bissell
3. Inner Workings: Essays 2000-2005 (2007) / J.M. Coetzee
4. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir (2007) / Peter Godwin
5. Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts (2007) / Clive James
6. The Disinherited: The Exiles Who Created Spanish Culture (2007) / Henry Kamen [Also check out Henry Kamen’s Spain’s Road to Empire: The Making of a World Power, 1492-1763 (2002)]
7. At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches (2007) / Susan Sontag (eds. Paolo Dilonardo and Anne Jump)
8. Shakespeare the Thinker (2007) / A.D. Nuttall

Friday, March 02, 2007

ARE PUBLISHERS EXTINCT?

SOME PEOPLE say that writers no longer need editors and publishers in the age of computers and other digital gizmos. Are publishers going the way of the dodo? What do you think?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The 2nd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers at MPH Bangsar Village II

WHAT’S ON IN MARCH 2007

THE 2nd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers meet is on Saturday, March 24, 2007 (the 4th Saturday of the month), at MPH Bangsar Village II in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 11.00a.m.-12.30p.m. Guests include short-story writer Xeus, the author of Dark City (Midnight Press, 2006), and the desperate housewife of Klang Lydia Teh, the author of Honk! If You’re Malaysian (MPH Publishing, 2007) and Life’s Like That (Pelanduk Publications, 2004). Both are writers who are also avid bloggers.

Xeus will be talking about her experience writing and publishing her first collection of short stories, Dark City. Kuala Lumpur-born Xeus will also talk about her latest collection of stories which is actually an anthology of stories written by several writers which she is compiling and editing. Xeus will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

Lydia Teh will read some of her anecdotes from her latest book, Honk! If You’re Malaysian and the road to getting published. Klang-born Lydia will be introduced by Kenny Mah.


COMING NEXT

THE 3rd MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, April 28, 2007, will feature Kuala Lumpur-based journalist Dina Zaman, whose new book, I Am Muslim (Silverfish Books, 2007), a collection of essays, will be published by Silverfish Books in March 2007; Farish A. Noor, the author of such Malaysian bookstore staples as The Other Malaysia (Silverfish Books, 2003) and From Majapahit to Putrajaya (Silverfish Books, 2005); and Larry Parr, the writer of Tan Chin Nam: Never Say I Assume! (MPH Publishing, 2006), an autobiography of one of Malaysia’s leading captains of industry. Dina Zaman will be introduced by Sharon Bakar. Farish A. Noor and Larry Parr will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 4th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, May 26, 2007, will feature Malaysian Flavours (Pelanduk Publications, 1996) author Lee Su Kim, whose new book, A Nyonya in Texas: Insights of a Straits Chinese Woman in the Lone Star State (Marshall Cavendish, 2007), was published by Marshall Cavendish at the tail-end of 2006, and David Byck, the author of It’s a Long Way to the Floor (Johnathan Styles, 2006). David will be sharing with us how practising yoga regularly has positively changed him physically, mentally and spiritually. He will also speak about how he started writing about yoga and read some extracts from his book. Both writers are not bloggers. Lydia Teh will be introducing Lee Su Kim, while David Byck will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 5th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, June 23, 2007, will feature Zhang Su Li, an award-winning copywriter who has just come out with her first travel book called A Backpack and a Bit of Luck (Marshall Cavendish, 2007), and Adeline Loh, whose first book, Peeing in the Bush: The Misadventures of Two Asian Girls in Zambia (MPH Publishing, July 2007), also a travel narrative, is being edited at the moment. Zhang Su Li will be introduced by Sharon Bakar while Adeline Loh will be introduced by Eric Forbes.

THE 6th MPH Breakfast Club for LitBloggers on Saturday, July 28, 2007, will feature Tinling Choong, whose début novel, FireWife, was published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on January 23, 2007. Born and bred in Penang, Malaysia, Tinling is working towards her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University. “FireWife,” according to Tinling, “is a story of plight and hope, escape and desire, offering vignettes in the lives of eight Asian women: a photographer, six women she photographs, and a girl travelling in between lives.” In January 2007, FireWife was nominated for the Henry Miller Award for the best literary sex scene published in the English language. And yes, she is a blogger.

MPH Bangsar Village II is at Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 603-2287 3600