Friday, February 29, 2008


Prince of PiratesPrince of Pirates by Carl A Trocki (RM 46.00)

No country's history is so well documented yet so poorly understood as that of a former colony. Singapore and Malaysia are particular victims of this historical paradox, and Carl Trocki's account of the history of Johor and Singapore marks a decided advance in Malaysian scholarship. A study of the Temenggongs of Johor, Prince of Pirates offers an original and highly provocative reinterpretation of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Malaysian history, revealing continuities between the pre-colonial and colonial periods that have been obscured by attention given to the European intrusion.

This new edition includes a fresh introduction by the author that positions the study within subsequent literature on Malaysian history, the Chinese migration, the opium trade and history of the British Empire in Asia. It also explains the role the book played in pioneering a number of important initiatives in Malaysian studies.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's raining books

Kasut BiruTitle:Kasut Biru Rubina
Author: Sufian Abas
Publisher: Sang Freud Press
Price: MYR15.00
(This book is in Malay)

A woman wakes up without her body. A boy tries to endure the pain of being an adult when mini animals start to come out of his anus. What do you do when angels forgot to bring a unicorn for your daughter's birthday? And are all shoes evil or just the blue ones?

Many of the characters in Kasut Biru Rubina want to live ordinary lives. But the unexpected happen. Brief, shocking, and full of lies that can only come from the twisted mind of Nigerian scammers, Sufian Abas' stories are snapshots that illuminate the strange hidden in a world we never want to live in.

NME1Title:New Malaysian Essays 1
Series Editor: Amir Muhammad
Authors: Brian Yap, Aminuddin Mahmud, Burhan Baki, Saharil
Hasrin Sanin, Amir Muhammad & Sonia Randhawa.
Publisher: Matahari Books (2008). Pages 254,
ISBN: 987-983-43596-1-4
Price: MYR30.00

New Malaysian Essays 1 is the first of a planned annual seriesconcentrating on local non-fiction writing. From polemic to ode to memoir, this series invites Malaysian readers - and writers - to notice, analyse and interpret the living, throbbing, squelching vitality around them. Multi-disciplinary, multi-tasking and bestappreciated on multi-vitamins, this first collection takes us from Brian Yap's election-era critique to Amir Muhammad's alternative lexicon by way of Burhan Baki's elegant deconstructions, Aminuddin Mahmud's seminar on branding and Saharil Hasnin Sanin's knockabout ruminations on language [in Malay] before rounding off with Sonia Randhawa's stirring call for national (and therefore personal) self-realisation.

Amir Muhammad and three of his friends will read and discuss the book at Silverfish Books on the 23rd of February 2008, at 5.30 pm. (See 'Events'.)

Both these books can be purchased online at