An exclusive excerpt from The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human- Tales from many Muslim worlds, edited by Marguerite Richards. (Published by Penguin SEA in November 2020)
Excerpt from the Foreword by Bina Shah
What we see in this collection of stories are people, in an echo of the Hidden Treasure concept, considering their own lives and experiences as hidden treasures that they love and long to make known. The writing in this anthology, then, is deeply spiritual even without an overt claim to religion, because it fulfils one of the strongest precepts of humanity: knowing and recognition. Each story is a glimpse into a constructed or reconstructed world that is completely authentic and true; it offers the opportunity for a kind of witnessing into the life of an individual and the circumstances of that human’s ecosystem. And in turn, to set off the recognition of universal human experience.
Just like humans, no story is quite like any other. These tales purport to reveal something about the Muslim world or worlds; take away the word ‘Muslim’ though, and couldn’t these stories come from anywhere? Couldn’t these people be any people, in any land or time? Or is it that these people, these stories, can only be produced by these particular times, in these particular circumstances? Picking up this collection is like lifting a gem to the light and examining it this way and that so the light reflects its different facets, to shine on a universal truth: that no matter what the condition or circumstances, every person is a human treasure longing to be known.
Tan Kaiyi reviews Tunku Halim’s latest work, Scream to Shadows calling it a collection of tales full of shocks and gore!
Scream to the Shadows is a retrospective collection of Tunku Halim’s career. These 20 spine chilling tales give a great introduction to one of the leading horror writers in Asia. Over a span of two decades, Tunku has written dark stories in the form of novels and short stories—most notably Dark Demon Rising and the Rape of Martha Teoh & Other Chilling Stories.
Evocative and alluring , Namrata reviews Laksmi Pamuntjak’s Fall Baby (Published by Penguin SEA, 2019)
‘Somewhere in mid-flight, it occurs to me that I’m still at home and without a home; its just that now there are two homes instead of one and that must count for something.’
With lines akin to poetry, Pamuntjak’s latest novel Fall Baby is a compelling read. Interestingly, one of the main protagonists of this novel, Siri, is the illegitimate daughter of Amba and Bhisma, the protagonists of Laksmi Pamuntjak’s award winning first novel, Amba/ The Question of Red.
Laksmi Pamuntjak is a bilingual Indonesian novelist, poet, journalist, essayist and food critic. Her debut novel Amba/The Question of Red won many awards and has been translated into several languages followed by her second novel, The Birdwoman’s Palate which was adapted into a movie. She writes across genres dabbling in a poetry collection, a food guide, collection of short stories on painting and a treatise on violence and the Iliad. Pamuntjak also writes opinion and features articles for various Indonesian publications.
Namrata looks at Krishna Udayasankar’s new novel set in Mumbai in the backdrop of the dark underbelly of the city amidst the world of Saimhas (werelions)
Released in : March 2019
An urban fantasy set in the mega city of Mumbai, Beast by Krishna Udayasankar reminds you of the folklore of Lord Narsimha and Prahalad. The description of one being ‘Neither a man, nor an animal’, is the common thread between the two.