A version of this post was first published on Kakak Killjoy The question above may seem far ahead of its time, as the influence of feminism – in whatever form of feminism we as Malaysians can recognise – has yet to have an established place in our literature. Fiction-writing has long been central to Western… Continue reading The lacuna: Where is the missing canon of Malaysian feminist fiction writing?
Update: An extended version of this post can be found at Muslimah Media Watch It had to happen sooner or later. With Barbie and now Hannah Montana merchandise dominating the tween to early teenage market in Malaysia, products for young Muslim women in hijab are starting to appear, particularly on the bookshelves. And they look… Continue reading Pink is for tween Muslimahs
Fatimah Busu has a gift for telling stories of social alienation. Her stories are often a provocative social critique of Malay society but are easily accessible and good for philosophical rumination. In Salam Maria, her protagonist is a misfit, a social castoff who is forced to the depths of the forest to live with those… Continue reading Book review: Ombak Bukan Biru by Fatimah Busu
Despite the clunky title, Contrary Visions (2004, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) offers a rather comprehensive review of novels by Malay women written between 1940 and 1995, including a couple of early Indonesian novels thrown in for good, hazy archipelagoan measure. Alongside Virginia Hooker’s Writing a New Society: Social Change Through the Novel in Malay (2000),… Continue reading Book review: Contrary Visions – Women and Work in Malay Novels Written by Women by Christine Campbell
Since it’s Black History Month in Britain, I’d like to feature an unlikely poem by Malaysia’s greatest poet and dramatist, Usman Awang (1929-2001). Written in 1971, ‘Suara Blues’ (Voices of the Blues) is a critique of Western hegemony and racism. It is also a kind of clarion call for the return to ‘the centre’, the… Continue reading A Malay poem for Black History Month
Since it’s Ramadhan I thought it might be quite appropriate that I have a special religious feature in my feminist/Malay lit blog. So in today’s post I’d like bring to your attention a little known novel by Fatimah Busu, ‘Salam Maria‘ (or Hail Mary) published in 2004. Unfortunately it’s in Malay, and almost impossible to… Continue reading Ramadhan book club: Salam Maria
Dia melekapkan mata kanannya ke lubang paku tiga inci itu dengan hati berdebar-debar. Nafasnya terhenti sejenak bila melihat tubuh putih gebu yang sedang basah berkemban sahaja. Dadanya terdedah. Sharifah membuka ikat kain kembannya. Kain kuyup itu dikirai-kirai. Rambutnya yang lebat hitam terhurai lepas hingga ke paras pinggang berbuai-buai lemah. Badan putih melepak begitu lembut. Begitu… Continue reading The peeping tom and adulterer: some themes Malays like