Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Event: Planter Upriver by Mahbob Abdullah

A book event: Planter Upriver by Mahbob Abdullah at 5.00pm on Saturday, 19th of December, 2009 at Silverfish Books, 58-1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 228 448 37 Email: Admission: Free

Mahbob Abdullah will talk about his life as a planter and about what he went through writing his books.

About the author:

Mahbob Abdullah chose planting as a career in the early 1960s when most plantations were growing rubber, and later joined the oil palm estates, mainly with Unilever Plantations. He later joined Sime Darby in the refinery business producing edible oils in Johore, Singapore, Thailand and Egypt. On his retirement he became a consultant on plantation and refinery management.

About the book:

Planter Upriver has sixty short stories set in Perak, Johor and Sabah in Malaysia, as well as Solomon Islands, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo).

The stories span the early 1960s to mid-1980s when the writer was working mainly in Unilever plantations, which had rubber, oil palm and cocoa and coconut, and also ran cattle in islands in the South Pacific.

There were colourful characters even in the most remote places. The writer has also seen the lighter side of their work as shown in some of these stories.

Planter Upriver follows the writer's first book Planter's Tales.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Launch: qur'an and cricket

Launch of qur'an and cricket: Travels through the madrasahs of Asia and other stories the latest book by Farish A Noor, Malaysia's leading public intellectual, at 7.00pm on Friday, 6th November, 2009 at Silverfish Books, 58-1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 448 449 37 Email: Admission: Free

Here is an excerpt from the book:

However, in the course of the same research I have also visited some rather dodgy institutions that can hardly be called madrasahs. Once in Pakistan I had to interview some students while in the corner of the room played a videotape of the gruesome murder and decapitation of the American journalist Daniel Pearl. The boys I was speaking to were between seven to ten years of age, and were smiling and laughing -- while others lay asleep. I tried to look away as long as I could, resisting the urge to puke.

Santri: Another Look at the Pesantren al-Mukmin of Abu Bakar Ba’ashir

Farish A Noor, academic, activist, traveller extraordinaire, visits, lives and interviews students (and others) in 'jihad factory' madrasahs (Islamic seminaries) from Patani to Pakistan and from Kashmir to Cairo, and comes away dazed and confused. In attempting to make sense of it all, he ends up confronting his own demons and nightmares.

This is a book that only Farish A Noor will attempt and can write. He visits locations we would like to avoid even in our worst nightmares. Although he writes with his sense of humour firmly in place throughout, that does not obscure the seriousness of the subject. Is the world ready for some truth?

Also launched on that day will be set of six postcards with photographs and drawings by Farish A Noor. You may view them here:

Note: Photo caption: The author on his last day of fieldwork, Central Java, May 2008

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mexican writer at Silverfish in October


PalouA dialogue with Pedro Angel PALOU at Silverfish Books, 58-1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur on October 14, 2009 at 18.00 hours. Admission is free.

Since its origins in the sixteenth century, Mexican literature has been a significant component of Western literature. All along the Colonial period, Mexican writers were a key element in the development of Spanish imagination and creatitivity. After Independence two hundred years ago, they struggled to creatively contribute in building up a national identity within the Modern world. The Revolution of 1910 strengthened this commitment and generated a vital nationalistic literature.

Today Mexican writers consider themselves universal novelists, deeply involved in the crisis of globalization. The fact that Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and a neighbor and major partner of the United States reflects itself in a vibrant and highly competitive literary environment.

New topics to attract Latin American readers, strategies to penetrate global markets, the complex interrelation with massmedia and Internet are among the issues and challenges faced by contemporary Mexican novelists.

Pedro Angel PALOU (Puebla, Mexico 1966) is a reknown novelist and thinker, author of 33 books. As a leading Mexican intellectual, he has been Minister of Culture at his home state of Puebla and President of a prestigious private university, The University of the Americas, as well as recipient of several national and international awards.

PALOU is an anchorman for Mexico's public television (Channel 22) and for the American broadcaster History Channel. He also enjoys a reputation as a futbol referee and a sophisticated chef. His visit to Malaysia is sponsored by the 2009 International Cooperation Program of Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Silverfish 10th Anniversary party

Yes, it has been ten years already since Silverfish Books first opened in Desa Seri Hartamas. We made a lot of friends, offended some, published over 30 books, organised two International Literary Festivals and many readings and book launches, had a few battles, won some, lost some, still fighting others, and we hope we made a small dent in the Malaysian literary world. So we are organising our tenth birthday party on Saturday 27th June 2009.

Farish Noor, Dina Zaman, Rumaizah Abu Bakar, Shih-Li Kow, Chua Kok Yee, Robert Raymer, Salleh ben Joned, are Silverfish authors who have confirmed will be there. Huzir Sulaiman, Antares and Ganese Jaganathan are definite maybes. A surprise for the evening will be Addeline Lee, who at 18 is the youngest Silverfish author to date. He book Lethal Lesson and other stories will be released on the day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tash Aw reading at Silverfish Books

Tash Aw, who will be in Kuala Lumpur in the first week of next month to launch his new book, Map of the Invisible World, in Malaysia is scheduled for a reading at  Silverfish Books on Sunday, 7th of June 2009 from 11.30am to 1.00pm. This event is a result of a request from Tash Aw who has specifically asked to read at Silverfish Books because he likes the type of people who come here, particularly those who will read his book and ask intelligent questions about it, not just about how much money he makes. So, do try and read his book book before you come so as not to let the side down. BTW  both the  hardback (RM85.00)  and  paperback (RM64.90) editions are now available in major bookstores.

I have, so far, only read three chapters, but I am already impressed by his steady, confident, no-drama style of prose. He's getting more and more like Ishiguro. I will ask him about it after his reading, during discussion period.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Readings from Echoes of Silence

In a session called Anatomizing the colonised mind: reading and discussion of Echoes of Silence, the author, Chuah Guat Eng, will read from her novel on Saturday, 23 May at Silverfish Books, 58-1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 228 448 37) at 5.00pm.

Echoes of Silence is the first full-length novel in English by a Malaysian woman. Critically acclaimed when it first appeared in 1994, it has been enjoyed by general readers, and studied by students and scholars of postcolonial literature in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

Echoes is a multi-faceted novel, which can be enjoyed at several levels. Although it is written in the first person, the novel is not autobiographical. And although there is a murder and murder investigation, it is not simply a detective thriller. For the reading Chuah will focus on excerpts illustrating the novel's exploration of the colonised mind. "In March 1970, as a direct result of the May 1969 racial riots, I left Malaysia." -- So begins the story of Lim Ai Lian, a Chinese Malaysian.

Besides Echoes of Silence, Chuah's other published literary works are Tales from the Baram River (2001), a collection of Sarawak folktales retold for children, and The Old House and Other Stories (2008), a collection of short stories written and published in various publications and anthologies between 1992 and 2002. She works part-time as a corporate communications consultant and occasionally runs lecture courses at universities.

Admission is free but seats will be on first-come-first-served basis.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reading by writers of Sang Freud Press and Sindiket Soljah

Sang Freud PosterSilverfishbooks, Sang Freud Press dan Sindiket Soljah dengan berbesar hati, menjemput pencinta-pencinta cerita pop untuk bersama memeriahkan sidang pembacaan naskhah DUA LAUK dan PEREMPUAN SIMPANAN.

Dua Lauk merupakan hasil kolaborasi dua orang perempuan yang dibesarkan oleh serigala di bawah jambatan Kuala Lumpur sementara Perempuan Simpanan adalah koleksi fiksi sejumlah perempuan-perempuan berpaksikan komunisme (dalam erti kata yang paling tulen).

Antara yang akan mempersembahkan karya mereka:
  • D'ianadi
  • Wani Ardy
  • Taf 'Tifani' Teh
  • Ila Syazwani
  • Dila Raden
  • Wahida Rahim
  • Alina Abdullah 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book launch -- Ripples and other stories

Book Launch, readings and discussions of Ripples by Shih-Li Kow on Saturday, 21st February 2009 at 5.30 pm at Silverfish Books, 58-1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-228 448 37, email:

Shih-Li Kow simply keeps on getting better and better. In her first full book of short stories (which, incidentally has been nominated for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize in the First Book category), Shih-Li's delicate touch and turn of phrase continues. She says she  loves writing and obviously means it. She will not let any excuse get in the way of her passion. She holds a full time job working six days a week, and is a loving single mother with a ten-year-old.

"... If you were getting tired of fiction, this is the place to have your faith renewed in the beauty and the terror of the imaginary "-- Amir Muhammad (The Malay Mail)