Friday, March 01, 2013

KL Noir: RED - Fixi Novo

This is officially mine!!! :D
Adibah Amin. I have always been her fan. 

Since I read As I Was Passing several years ago, I was very determine that there would be more Malaysians writing in English. No offense, folks, Malay was in the blood and still is. The native language would never be pushed aside; yet knowing that more Malaysians are learning and writing in foreign languages was one of the wishes that I had back then. 

Personally, I had regrets. I took for granted the opportunities to learn foreign languages. There were Arabic, French and Mandarin classes at the boarding school where I was studying but I was too frisky at that time to realise that attending classes was one of the key to success. My friends who were determine students managed to put that skill in their resume as a plus point for language skills.

On the other hand, I was too embarrassed to mention that I knew the word, "Oui."

Ever since I read Adibah Amin's books, I realised that there must be more people out there who could write as good as she was. Lydia Teh, for example, had a remarkable "Honk If You Are A Malaysian" on my shelve. I believe several English books from Malaysia have been bought, borrowed and read since Adibah Amin. My dream of Malaysian's touch via foreign language books was getting clearer. 

Last night, one my dreams came true. Another book from Fixi was launched at Kinokuniya KLCC with a great success. Actually, I have been waiting for this day for ages! Ever since Fixi tweet about KL Noir, the other tweets from Fixi had my top notch priority. I scrolled my timeline like a mad woman. The title itself was making me ecstatic and impatient. KL. Kuala Lumpur. Noir. There was a French influence in there (check out Pires as the second name to Cheryna!). It sounded so classy, I just could not kept my mind off it for quite sometime.

My followers in Twitter might have been bored with my retweets on KL Noir. It was just a book! Nope. It was not just a book, you bloody people. It was a sign. An example. An argument. A sense of pride somewhere. Fixi - regardless their efforts in providing more reading materials for the youngsters or elderly like me; have been criticized as not being responsible towards the language. I have always thought that KL  Noir: Red was launched at the right time, the right place and the right price.

Perhaps it was the enthusiasm which made me chose red and black for my attire to the event. The so-called theme for "noir".

I knew that there would be no one to accompany me to the book event on a working day. Yet, the selection of Kinokuniya as the location for the event was a blessing. Since I could reach KLCC within few minutes, I was such a good girl at work. I had never worked with such speed and accuracy before. I knew that if I was good, I would be able to get off early from the office and participate.

Aye, leaving the office was considered a success but the failure to reach early came from the distraction of lipsticks in Sephora. I had never realised that checking out make ups would make me late for a book event. Perhaps Sephora and Kinokuniya should have their premises side by side (such a lame excuse, aye?!)

When I reached Kinokuniya, Eeleen Lee was reading her bits. I found the reading as somewhat amusing. Unlike the other book events that I have attended prior to this, I have never seen such passion. Each writers were reading part of their story with full of expression. Take Shivani Sivagurunathan, Marc De Faoite and the remarkable Brian Gomez for instance. I had fun!

The crowd was awesome too. Aye, even though the event was held at Kinokuniya which was technically a peaceful bookstore, there was laughter and a very good control of crowd by Amir Muhammad. Kudos to him for being lively and engaged throughout the whole event. The atmosphere was good.

Perhaps you would still be wondering about KL Noir and its content. This was coming from Fixi's page:

Shaz Johar reading his part of the book
KL NOIR: Red is the first of 4 volumes about the Malaysian capital city’s dark side. There are 14 short stories and one essay about the seedy, the sinister and sometimes the spooky. You will find murder, drug-dealing, kidnapping, sexual depravity, prostitution, celebrity secrets, suicides, academic rivalry, gangsters, police brutality, cannibalism, black magic, creepy rituals, political corruption and even busking. It’s all totally fictional. Well, maybe the cannibalism is. 

 Line-Up:
INTRO / Amir Muhammad (Read it here)
THE RUNNER / Adib Zaini
RUKUN TETANGGA / Preeta Samarasan
MAMAK MURDER MYSTERY / Marc de Faoite (Read the full story here).
ASIAN ANGEL / Shaz Johar
A GIFT OF FLOWERS / Shih-Li Kow
KISS FROM A ROSE / Fadzlishah Johanabas
AFTER DARK, MY LOVE / Dina Zaman
THE ORACLE OF TRUTH / Eeleen Lee
CHASING BUTTERFLIES IN THE NIGHT / Kris Williamson
THE DUALIST / Shivani Sivagurunathan
VANISHED / Khairulnizam Bakeri
CANNIBAL VS. AH LONG / Megat Ishak
THE MACHETE AND ME / Dayang Noor
THE UNBELIEVER / Amir Hafizi MUD / Brian Gomez BIOS

 Editor: Amir Muhammad
 ISBN: 9789670374239 276 pages / RM19.90

How about autographs? Well, I definitely got some from Adib Zaini (such a shy guy), Marc de Faoite (the Irish who knew Seremban!), Shaz Johar (who commented that we have the same name), Eeleen Lee (she wore purple yesterday so she was great), Kris Williamson (I regret that I was not having his Son Complex with me), Khairulnizam Bakeri (well, a famous guy would not need an introduction),  Dayang Noor (my idol in writing - Malay or English. She was my new follower on Twitter! Hahaha..such an honour!) and the unforgettable Brian Gomez whom I informed about The Devil's Place which was being given to Buku Jalanan Seremban :)

It was a bit rushy in the end with Kinokuniya appeared a bit unprepared with the purchase of the books. I was lucky enough to get my copy since the awesome crowd seem to grab books faster than I did. Perhaps that would be their areas of improvemen. Yet I was keeping a hope that the next KL Noirs would be launched there too.

There was no other proud moment yesterday besides having KL Noir : Red in my red handbag. It would be too early to say good or bad about the book. Yet the knowledge of Malaysian publishers are producing English books with Malaysian books have never been so delighting.

Good job Fixi! I am looking forward to post the review soon :D

5 comments:

Rasp said...

now you make me wanna grab that book *wink*....
thanx for this info!

LydSunshine said...

Pasal foreign language tu, saya pun berminat sgt nak belajar. Tapi tak tau kat mana nak mula.

Pasal KL Noir tu, bila Sha citer dlm entry lepas pasal buku FIxi, masa tu rasa mcm boleh faham maksud fixi. Pastu bila baca entry ni, saya terconfuse ingatkan Fixi tu nama seorang book writer. Bila google, betul le kefahaman saya yg mula2 dlm entry lepas tu. Dan baru le tau KL noir ni antologi.

Dee said...

Admiring your passion towards books :)

4feet8 said...

sy pun suka baca tulisan lydia teh (life's like that, do you wear suspenders? dan honk ...)tapi, tulisan amir muhamad cuma susuk je pernah baca..

esok nak carilah kat MPH midvalley..

Marc said...

Thanks for coming to the launch Chernya. Hope you enjoy the book.
Happy reading
Marc