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Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng’s ‘Garden of Evening Mists’ gets movie deal

Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng’s award-winning novel The Garden Of Evening Mists is getting a feature film adaptation, reports Variety.

Jointly produced by HBO Asia and Astro Shaw, the movie will star Malaysian actress Lee Sin-je (The Eye), Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe (Godzilla 2000) and veteran Taiwanese actress-director Sylvia Chang in the lead, along with British actors David Oakes (Victoria) and John Hannah (Agents Of SHIELD).

The film will be directed by Taiwan’s Tom Lin (Starry Starry Night, Zinnia Flower).

The Garden Of Evening Mists is a profound novel, showcasing such beautiful cultural complexities which captivate the heart of its readers,” head of Astro Shaw Najwa Abu Bakar said in the Variety piece.

The publication also reports that principal photography will begin at the end of this month, and that the movie is supported by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).

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When short is sound…

The just concluded Kitaab Literary Festival in Lucknow saw interesting discussions on intertextuality and micro literature

At a time when a strongly intimidating and equally tantalising wave of certitude and homogeneity has been sweeping the world and law-induced violence runs amok, what can provide us with an alternative comprehension of the reality? It is an intriguing sense of inconclusiveness that triggers and acts like a catalyst to deal with various vexed issues as it prevents people from trying to outdo each other.

This incredible conceptual creative solution is offered by a celebrated Singapore-based author Zafar Anjum who participated in an international literary festival held in Lucknow in which many prominent writers in English, Hindi and Urdu, belonging to India, Singapore and Malaysia participated. Zafar Anjum, in his widely- acclaimed story, “Kafka in Ayodhya” refers to the vexed Ayodhya issue and the quest for solution prompts him to explore the nuanced connotation of the incompleteness and the space around it. In line with his existentialist leanings and Kafkaesque tradition, the protagonist of Zafar’s story spells out the contours of solution:

“Leave the structure as it is. Incompleteness is also a quality, a facet of nobility. It has a capacity for silence. At least, that’s what I do with my work.”

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Malaysia: Poet does country proud by showcasing Malay arts and literature

Poet Teo Wei Sing did the country proud recently by going on international stage to recite a Malay poem.

Clad in an ocean blue baju Melayu, purple kain samping with songkok and a dummy keris, Teo, 33, recited “Sembah Setia Patik Jelata, Junjung Kasih Tuanku di Takhta” before an appreciative crowd of over 200 people.

Although he did not win any award, it was a good platform to showcase Malay arts and literature to the world.

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Explore the world of Malaysian children’s literature

Visitors to the Children’s Literature Festival 2015 will have the opportunity to explore locally produced children’s literature.

Themed “One World, Many Stories”, the festival showcases local literary works and hopes to inculcate the culture of reading amongst Malaysians, especially children.

The festival will feature many fun activities for children, including batik painting, kuda kepang dances, a doodle wall and colouring. Continue reading


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English anthology of Taiwanese, Malaysian literature launched

An English anthology of works by Taiwanese and Malaysian writers was launched in late January this year to introduce more literary works from the two countries to English-speaking readers.

The “Anthology of Short Stories Malaysia-Taiwan” features 12 short stories by six Taiwanese and six Malaysian writers, Sarah Hsiang (項人慧), secretary and assistant editor at the Taipei Chinese Center International P.E.N., said Tuesday. Continue reading


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How Amir Muhammad redefined Malaysian publishing

AmirMuhammad230314Established in 2011 by writer and independent filmmaker Amir Muhammad, Buku Fixi has become a rare success story in the publishing industry. Its Malay-language urban contemporary novels are a fixture on local bestseller lists. Written in the pulp fiction, noir, horror, crime and thriller genres, many of the novels are brimming with slang and bahasa celupar, making Buku Fixi a distinctive brand of books.

Since its inception, Buku Fixi has branched out into other aspects of publishing, with several other labels under the Fixi umbrella. These include Fixi Retro (which publishes out-of-print Malay books), Fixi Verso (translations of bestsellers), Fixi Novo (English language books) and Fixi Mono (non-fiction).

Amir tells me that he was inspired to create Buku Fixi after attending a local book awards ceremony. According to him, nine out of ten of the Malay fiction nominees had either the words ‘rindu’, ‘kasih’ or ‘cinta’ in their titles. Continue reading


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Concert in Malaysia to promote Taiwan literature, music

A concert will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August to promote Taiwanese literature and music in the South Asian country.

The Taiwan Literature and Music Night will feature Taiwan-born Malaysian singer Freya Lim and Taiwanese singers Maggie Chiang and Peter Pan, according to the Ministry of Culture, which is organizing the event jointly with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia.

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Review: KL Noir Blue: No Arrests For The Wicked

Clunky sentences, gratuitous metaphors and forced similes, bad grammar – they all combine to grate on the nerves, and give the book an unfortunately amateurish feel: The Star

KLNoirNo Arrests for the Wicked (Editor Eeleen Lee, Fixi Novo) is the book’s cheesy subtitle, but this doesn’t mean that bad deeds go unpunished. Indeed, there are no happy endings for anyone, but the price of crime is never anything as conventional as the rope or 60 years with no hope for parole.

Retribution is invariably more creative, poetic even, and much more gruesome than one would suffer if left in the hands of the legal system, as grubby as their paws might be. Hey, it’s noir so there can be no mercy, no silver lining. Continue reading


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Malaysia: The Cooler Lumpur Festival opens the call for its first ever Writers Residency

The Cooler Lumpur Writers Residency is crafted and curated with a simple mission: to provide up-and-coming writers with the support and tools necessary to grow and develop their talents and to give them an opportunity to learn from some of the very best writers out there. Continue reading


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Book publishing market snapshots: Malaysia

Amir Muhammad, owner ofBuku Fixi explains the impact of government subsidized vouchers on the Malaysian book industry and the dominance of Malay-language romance novels.

AmirMuhammad230314For the third year in a row, the Malaysian book industry received a boost in the form of book vouchers given out to university students. The 1Malaysia Book Vouchers are worth RM250 (about $76) which can typically pay for 10 local paperbacks. As they were given out to 1.3 million students and may be used even for non-educational books, the boost to bookshops is noticeable. The voucher is just one of a slew of feel-good subsidy measures from a government which had lost its traditional 2/3 majority in parliament in the last two general elections.  Continue reading