Wednesday, August 20, 2008

MPH Breakfast Club with ... Preeta SAMARASAN


The 15th MPH Breakfast Club on Saturday, October 25, 2008, at 11.30a.m. to 1.00p.m., will be featuring Malaysian novelist and short-story writer Preeta Samarasan, the author of Evening Is the Whole Day (Houghton Mifflin/HarperCollins, 2008). Samarasan is at the moment working on her second novel, a story about a group of people in Cameron Highlands living in a Utopian community. She has a story in the forthcoming collection, Urban Odysseys (MPH Publishing, 2009).

Preeta Samarasan was born and raised in Malaysia and moved to the U.S. for her high-school education. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where an early version of her novel won the Avery and Jule Hopwood First Novel Award. She recently won the Asian American Writer’s Workshop short-story award. She lives in France.

Eric Forbes will be introducing Preeta Samarasan while Janet Tay will be moderating the session.

Photograph of Preeta Samarasan courtesy of Miriam Berkley

Date October 25, 2008 (Saturday)
Time 11.30a.m.-1.00p.m.
Venue MPH Bangsar Village II Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone (603) 2287 3600

Food and refreshments will be served
All lovers of literature are most welcome

Preeta Samarasan will also be doing a reading at readings@seksan at 3.30p.m. on the same day. Seksan Design is at No. 67 Jalan Tempinis Satu, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur


“… THE LONG SLOW BANQUET of a fine novel. Preeta Samarasan’s delicious first novel, set in Malaysia in 1980, provides such a feast. ... Her ambitious spiraling plot, her richly embroidered prose, her sense of place, and her psychological acuity are stunning. Readers, responding to the setting, will immediately compare her to Kiran Desai. I think Samarasan’s dialogue and description are reminiscent of Eudora Welty, another woman who knew how to write about family and race and class and secrets and heat.” Allegra Goodman, in The New York Times Book Review

“A MAGICAL, EXUBERANT tragic-comic vision of postcolonial Malaysia reminiscent of Rushdie and Roy. In prose of acrobatic grace, Samarasan conjures a vibrant portrait, by turns intimate and sweeping, of characters and a country coming of age. The début of a significant, and thrilling, new talent.”
Peter Ho Davies, Man Booker Prize-longlisted author of The Welsh Girl (2007)

“RICH, QUIRKY AND COLOURFUL, Evening Is the Whole Day captures not just the sense of a family struggling to deal with its past, but the crazy uncertainty of a country coming to terms with itself. Often funny, sometimes sad, never predictable, this is a novel that announces a unique talent.” Tash Aw, the author of The Harmony Silk Factory (2005)

“A WONDERFULLY ENGAGING NOVEL, poignant yet comical, about the contradictions and hazards inherent in a modern, postcolonial world.” M.G. Vassanji, author of The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (2003)

“PREETA SAMARASAN’s passionate, striking book, stunned with light and heat, is full of the memory of enchantment and the enchantment of memory. Samarasan cultivates with brilliance the taut battle between the public and familial being, and the hidden and fragile inner self, trapped in a world of myth and mystery.” Susanna Moore, author of One Last Look (2003)

“SOMETIMES A BOOK COMES BY that doesn’t just grab you—it embraces you entirely, seizing your senses and emotions, so much so that the moment you finish it, you go back to the beginning and start reading all over again. Sometimes, a book comes by that makes you laugh out loud at almost every page and yet hurts you and hushes you with its lyrical beauty. ... One such book is Evening is the Whole Day by Malaysian Preeta Samarasan. ... It is the rich imagery of the language that grabs the reader’s attention with experiences that most Malaysians will recognise: eating Sunshine bread, Marie biscuits and Milo (straight from the tin); raffia string around a suitcase; the skirt zipper that works its way to the hip; whining drunken man at the gate .... Preeta’s rich, multi-layered approach soaks into the language, characters, situations and events, creating a novel that is uniquely Malaysian but not overly nostalgic. Her characters flavour their conversations with Malaysian English peppered with Tamil expressions, easily understood within context.” Saras Manickam, The Sunday Star

“AN IMPRESSIVE DÉBUT ... At one level, it is a nuanced portrayal of the trials and tribulations of one immigrant family, but at a deeper level it deals with issues of identity, of the underclass and of the deep divides which create classes in a nation.” Deepika Shetty, The Straits Times

“AN IMAGINATIVE, irreverent, funny, entertaining, beautiful, and unapologetically Malaysian creation. ... Samarasan presents, through the multifarious and difficult relationships among the inhabitants of the Rajasekharan household, our country with its complexities of class, race, religion, gender and colour.” Lim Soon Heng, TimeOut Kuala Lumpur

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home