Wednesday, September 29, 2010
A Feast for Your Reading Pleasure
A review of “A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Short Stories”, edited and introduced by Mohammad A. Quayum. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, September 2010, Paperback. Mohammad Quayum is professor of English at the International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
If you enjoy reading short stories from around the world, this fine collection of 25 original stories by new and prize-winning writers is a good choice. From Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates, all but one of the stories were written by writers whose roots are in Asia. That one, Professor Quayum says in his Introduction “may not be…an Asian as such, but certainly…has absorbed and been absorbed by the culture of his adopted home to be considered an Asian by association.”
These 25 well-crafted stories are a wonderful mixture of humor, love, pathos, ghosts, family, war, horror (Suad Khatab Ali’s story The Subjugated Ones, about a sinister female Saudi clerical police detective I found particularly chilling), tenderness, class struggle and longing make for interesting and enjoyable reading. Chosen from a field of nearly140 submissions, these are the cream of the crop. The one story that was not written by an Asian is one that I wrote and sent to Professor Quayum in late 2009. I am surprised and honored to find myself among such distinguished company.
A Rainbow Feast is now available for purchase in stores in South and Southeast Asia and the publisher’s website http://www.marshallcavendish.com/marshallcavendish/genref/index.aspx. It will be available from amazon.co.uk and The Book Depository (http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/) early in 2011. Check back here or on my website (http://www.geogepolleyauthor.com/) for availability. On my website, click on The Rainbow Feast tab.
Again, if you're looking for some good reading, put this one on your Christmas list. I give it a +++++ rating.