Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holiday stash!

Haven't moved on to my Taiwanese book yet because I've gotta write an article about The Hobbit movie for the children's newspaper I work for. Trying to read the original novel in a hurry.

Of course, this just means it's a good time to take stock of the books I've accumulated over recent travels. A recent bus ride up to KL had me at Silverfish Books, where I was promoting the poetry collection I translated, The New Village. Also popped over to the Annexe at Sentral Market for Art For Grabs.

Here's my harvest after the events:

Look at 'em!

Silverfish Malaysian Classics Series: 
1. Marong Mahawangsa: The Kedal Annals
2. Sejarah Melayu
3. The Epic of Bidasari (and other tales)
4. Malaysian Fables, Folktales & Legends

Farish Noor's essays:
5. The Other Malaysia
6. From Majapahit to Putrajaya
7. From Inderapura to Darul Makmur: A Deconstructive History of Pahang
(-). What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You (actually I bought this ages ago, but added it to complete the set)

8. Salleh ben Joned's Adam's Dream
9. Bernice Chauly's Growing Up With Ghosts
10. Afi Noor's Ten Poems

I have rather fewer books from Laos, because of the bigger language divide. One British lady resident in Luang Prabang (who ran a book exchange) even told me there's a serious dearth of Lao literature, pre-colonial and contemporary, because they just aren't a very literate culture. Folks go back to the village and forget all the English they learned, she said; they even forget their own Lao alphabet.

Anyhow, Monument Books did supply me with a couple of treasures:

1. Outhine Bounyavong's Mother's Beloved
2. Steven Jay Epstein's Lao Folktales (published in Thailand)

There was even a book of condensed Lao epics, Volume 2 - but this was wafer-thin and the writing just wasn't very good. I figured I'd bug the National Library to buy Volume 1, or else just wait for a proper publication to come out.

In other news, I finished an awesome novel over the hols: Zhang Yueran's The Promise Bird, translated by my friend Jeremy Tiang. But that deserves a post of its own.

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