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From NLB’s Singapore collection comes a book club with a unique local flavour. Discuss books by both well-known and emerging Singapore authors touching on topics close to home. Get acquainted with local literature and discover national literary treasures right here at the libraries.
In November, we will be discussing Malay Sketches by Alfian Sa'at. The author will be joining us for the session.
About the Book
Longlisted for the 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
Malay Sketches is a collection of stories that borrows its name from a book of anecdotes by colonial governor Frank Swettenham, describing Malay life on the Peninsula. In Alfian Sa’at’s hands, these sketches are reimagined as flash fictions that record the lives of members of the Malay community in Singapore. With precise and incisive prose, Malay Sketches offers the reader profound insights into the realities of life as an ethnic minority.
“Subtle, delicate, elliptical, these elegiac sketches are shot through with yearning and brightness. Alongside modern parables of hantu kumkum, hantu tetek, pontianak and toyol, there are stories of separation and reunion, of love and conversion, of nation, class, childhood, gods, angels, death and prayer. There is humour and pathos but above all a longing for something forgotten, something lost.”
- Jo Kukathas, Artistic Director of The Instant Café Theatre
"Although Malay Sketches can be seen as a peephole into the Malay psyche, the stories will be relatable to readers, no matter their country or ethnicity. Stories of love, sadness, betrayal and success and failure make this collection accessible and, most importantly, human.”
- Goh Cheng Fai Zach, Cha: Asian Literary Journal
About the Author
Alfian Sa’at is the Resident Playwright of W!LD RICE. His plays have been translated into German, Swedish and Danish, and they have been read and performed in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Berlin, Hamburg, Zurich, Munich, Copenhagen and Stockholm. He has been nominated for the Life! Theatre Awards for Best Original Script seven times, and has received the award twice. Alfian was the winner of the SPH-NAC Golden Point Award for Poetry and the Singapore Young Artist Award for Literature in 2001. His other publications include Collected Plays One, Collected Plays Two, Cooling-Off Day, the poetry collections One Fierce Hour, A History of Amnesia, and the short story collection Corridor.
Read interviews with Alfian Sa'at in which he talks about Malay Sketches:
Find out more about book clubs at NLB at http://www.nationalreadingmovement.sg/book-clubs