Preeti Singh in Mid-Day

MuskaanInspired by Apple CEO Tim Cook, a boy in my children’s school posted a status update on Facebook on his preferred sexual orientation. The 14-year-old had over 600 likes and hundreds of supportive messages. Given that there are so many men and women who are closet gays and lesbians because of social censure, I marvelled at the boy’s courage to come out. I was unsure if the young kids showing solidarity were conforming to a peer’s ‘coolness’ quotient or were aware of what it means to be gay. 

by Lada Adamic and Pinkesh Patel (Facebbok)

Favorite books are something friends like to share and discuss. A Facebook meme facilitates this very interaction. You may have seen one of your friends post something like “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.” If not great works of literature, what are the books that have stayed with us?

Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information has also instructed the National Library Board to review their processes for dealing with such titles: CNA

Two books pulled off the shelves of the library’s children’s section will not be pulped, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim told the Straits Times. Instead, they will be moved to the adult section.

Gaiutra Bahadur unearths buried stories of indenture—those of women who battled rigid patriarchy on either side of the black water: The Margins

cooliewomantheodysseyofindentureSome months ago, I found myself stewing over a Facebook argument that flared up after I posted on my timeline the link to Gaiutra Bahadur’s magnificent new book Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture. “‘Indian woman’—not ‘Coolie woman’” a well-meaning African-Jamaican friend responded, a bald declaration that irked me for various reasons. Do you think the two are synonymous, I asked?  

The idea is to put more books into more people’s hands. Could Malay translations of English bestsellers help to do that?: The Star Online

AmirMuhammad230314Two local publishing companies are shaking things up with interesting forays into translation. Shakespeare and Stephen King in Malay, anyone?

Hafiz Hamzah, founder and editor of Pustaka Obscura, put out Obscura late last year featuring translated snippets of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland, and Homer’s Iliad, among others.