EDITED BOOKS ON MALAYSIAN LITERATURE IN ENGLISH

2020

  • Ronggeng-Ronggeng: Malaysian Short-Stories (Petaling Jaya: Maya Press, 2020)

Ronggeng Ronggeng: Malaysian Short Stories is an important collection which brings into focus the hitherto the little recognized variety and richness in Malaysian short story writing. Although of necessity, the writers write from positions in their respective communities, they are never communal, even in the two or three stories of tribal anxiety and the consciousness belonging so elusive to immigrants. In the main, the stories deal with the complex psychological states of people caught up in conflictual individual, family, and intra-communal relationships which transcend purely communal interests. The writing in some of the stories rises to the level of master craftsmanship, especially that of Lee Kok Lian for immediacy of sensuous presentation, and K.S. for subtlety in the telling of the story. In this collection lies part of the makings of a true Malaysian identity.
– Wong Phui Nam 
   Malaysian poet, dramatist and critic

Written by some of Malaysia’s finest writers writing in English. Their sharp observations and unflinching depiction of society’s tensions and fault lines, and human frailties make this collection a great read.
– Suchen Christine Lim
   Novelist and short story writer 
   Southeast Asian Writers Award  & inaugural Singapore Literature Prize

If you want to know about Malaysia deeply, you can read a thick book of history. Or you can read this comprehensive collection of Malaysian short stories from 1958 to the present. The theme of departure and return, the gap between generations and genders, and the slippages between cultures and races are mapped in this book. The stories are carefully curated, and the takeaway is that of a colourful country in the cusp of constant change.
– Danton Remoto
   Novelist, poet essayist and critic
   Winner of the National Achievement Award in Literature
   Writers’ Union of the Philippines

Book reviews on Ronggeng-Ronggeng: Malaysian Short Stories

By: Susan Philip in Asiatic, Vol. 14, No. 1, June, 2020
https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/1875

2017

  • Malchin Testament: Malaysian Poems (Petaling Jaya: Maya Press, 2017) 

Malchin Testament: Malaysian Poems is an anthology of Malaysian poems in English which introduces and showcases works of Malaysian poets that cover a period of over sixty years, from the beginning of Malaysian literature in English to present day. It brings together voices of over 50 poets from multicultural and multilingual Malaysia appropriating the English language for their own expression. Malchin Testament: Malaysian Poems brings together works from various sources, poems from early literary journals and anthologies and from new online sources, besides the traditional published volumes of poetry. 

This volume fills a gap since Edwin Thumboo’s The Second Tongue (1976), a landmark volume on Malaysian and Singaporean poetry in English. Libraries and many courses on Malaysian literature in English will benefit from Malchin Testament: Malaysian Poems. A volume of poetry that is essential reading for anyone who has an interest in Malaysian poetry in English.

Ronald Carter, Professor of English, University of Nottingham, UK.

2003

  • In-Sights: Malaysian Poems (Petaling Jaya: Maya Press, 2003)

In-Sights: Malaysian Poems is a compilation of poems by Malaysians which were either written or translated into the English language. It is probably the first volume of poetry that presents work that has been translated from Bahasa Melayu and Chinese into English with poems that were originally written in English. In-Sights: Malaysian Poems reflects the various pictures the poets paint of Malaysian life: its sights, sounds, smells and scenes. In a country where homogeneity is often extolled, In-Sights: Malaysian Poems   is a celebration in diversity. It is a celebration of the many Malaysian voices that enrich Malaysian literature. These writers bring their cultures and individual beliefs into their poems and share them with us, and the rest of the world. These voices give us a variety of Malaysian perspectives and perceptions. 

The collection of poems is thematically organised and is directed at young adults and students in secondary schools and under-graduate programmes.