Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Book Marks: Extreme Openness, Neverending Drama

A forum in Universiti Malaya to discuss new phenomena in the local book publishing industry was cancelled supposedly because of a ban on Faisal Tehrani's books. The forum was originally scheduled to be held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, but was shifted to UM - probably for the same reason.

On a slightly related note: I found an interesting old video clip on YouTube: an Edisi 7 segment in 2013 talking about Lejen Press dan "Isu Keterbukaan Melampau Buku Alternatif" (the issue of extreme openness in alternative books).

I guess in some quarters, this is still an issue.

After Borders threatened JAWI with legal action if Nik Raina's case not dropped, this happened. But the joy was shortlived when JAWI denied withdrawing the appeal, which is now likely to be heard in the Federal Court this August.

Cukuplah, wei.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in a lecture that closed the recent PEN World Voices festival, warned against "codes of silence" in American life (but she could be speaking of similar things in other places as well.

Using the contrast between Nigerian and American hospitals as an example, Adichie pointed out that Americans like to be "comfortable". And she worried that the comfort has brought "dangerous silencing" into American public conversation. "The fear of causing offence, the fear of ruffling the careful layers of comfort, becomes a fetish," Adichie said. As such, the goal of many public conversations in the United States "is not truth ... [it] is comfort".

"To choose to write is to reject silence," Adichie also said.

Let's move on:

  • On page 20 in the 13 May edition of The Sun, Adifitri Ahmad speaks about his graphic novel Taubat Si Tanggang, published by Maple (pronounced "Ma-PLUH", apparently) Comics. The story and concept are interesting, and I heard that if it's well received, there will be another volume.
  • The Perak Academy launched four books by local writers at Sekeping Kong Heng in Ipoh. Star Metro has a bit more about one of the books that were launched.
  • RIP William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well.
  • Wandering food journalist Robyn Eckhardt shares the story of "A Day in the Life of a Singapore Hawker". It's a tough life, and reminiscent of what our hawkers face.
  • Writers Margaret Atwood, JG Ballard, AS Byatt, et al. share their early reads.
  • "A history of pigs is a history of humanity". A Q&A with Mark Essig, author of Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig, at Salon, which also features an excerpt from the book.
  • No idea how "sea lion" became a verb until I looked it up. This tweet made me.
  • Sh*t book nerds do, according to Book Riot. Whoa, really?


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