I am in Penang to attend a soft launch of the book Fatimah's Kampung [When: Tuesday March 3 at 9am; Where: Balai Persiban Agung, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang].
Iain Buchanan ... "has crafted one of the most stunning local publications you will ever come across". - Amir Muhammad
The author Mr Iain Buchanan and I first met nearly 30 years ago in Singapore (he later married my Sec 3/4 teacher, Anak Si Hamid). There were still a few kampungs in Singapore back then, perhaps as few as there are kampungs in KL and Penang today.
Fatimah's Kampung, Reviewed:
by Amir Muhammad
Remembrance of Things Past, 4 Feb 2009"Although this is a work of fiction, it’s very much an act of remembrance. Kampung Hidayah represents all that we have forgotten about old villages, including the respect for nature implicit in their structures and rituals.
"Iain Buchanan did not grow up in such a place, and you might say he’s a romantic. But romantics are better than cynics, and in reconstructing the collective memories of his wife and her extended family, he has crafted one of the most stunning local publications you will ever come across. The colour illustrations, many of them spanning across two pages, are full of wonders. You can see every leaf, hear every cicada, and even smell the “pleasingly mysterious” bunga tahi ayam: “not sweet, not fragrant, but musty, spicy, with a little bit of pepper, earth and smoke.”
When Fatimah Lost her Kampung, Jan 25, 2009"Labelling books can sometimes do them a disservice, and whilst the book will undoubtedly appeal to older children (many of whom may have lived the story!), it will strike a chord with every Malaysian who cares about the environment and heritage, regardless of age, and will probably travel very well beyond these shores as the issues it raises are universal ones.
"I'm not ashamed to say that the story moved me to tears - especially the part where Fatimah finally does come face to face with her tiger."
Daphne Lee's review of Fatimah's Kampung, here. Pic of Iain courtesy of The Star.