Monday, 6 June 2011

A Subtle Degree Of Restraint

At a series of creative writing workshops under the British Council Creative Cities programme, run with UK-based writer development organisation Spread The Word, participants looked to the energy and character of the city of Kuala Lumpur for inspiration. The stories in this collection are the results of those workshops.

Creative Cities is a British Council project set up in 2008 and was developed in 15 countries in Europe. It provides a platform and a toolkit which can be used by individuals and organisations to help improve their cities.

Spread The Word, with the assistance of established professional writers, helps writers reach their full potential through workshops, mentoring schemes and other activities.

Most of the stories take place in KL, or were inspired by KL. In an urban restaurant, a woman is irked by the presence of a huge round vase as she explores love and weight loss. Will the vase survive? ...And how delicious are those after-lunch mochi?

A married woman struggles with her husband's infidelity and forbidden feelings for a neighbour's teenage son. One outlet for her frustrations involves the desperate housewife fantasies she writes on her computer. How will this play out?

As she swaps stories with her friends at a swanky Bangsar joint, an uptown woman learns something that sours the sweetness in her little secret. Shock! Horror! Will she consign the little package she's carrying into the dustbin?

A Subtle Degree of Restraint and Other Stories
Various Authors
MPH Group Publishing (2011)
Malaysian Collection/Malaysian Authors
138 pages

RM24.90 | Buy from
A timid teacher finds the courage to stand up for what's right. But troubles at home threatens to turn her workplace triumph into a pyrrhic victory. Despite a flu, a man at Amritsar is awed by the vision of loveliness he guides in a search for the mysterious beauty's roots, miles away from home. She finds what she's looking for, but has he?

Across the city, viewers following a tacky game show witness an unassuming contestant's spectacular victory and watch her humiliation as the prize for her efforts is revealed. A crowd gathering at the scene of a drowning brings a man back into his childhood and the tragic death of a schoolmate.

A Subtle Degree of Restraint and Other Stories is published by MPH Group Publishing and will be available in all major bookstores.


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