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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Meet The Author - Barbara Ismail in Penang on the 7th November

Meet The Author!

Barbara Ismail in Penang

China House, Victoria Street, 2.30 Thursday 7th November

Barbara Ismail made waves at the Singapore Writers' Festival last year when she won the Best Debut Novel award at the festival for her novel Shadow Play , a detective story set in Kelantan in the 1970s. The novel was also shortlisted for the Popular/Star Readers' Choice Awards this year. The story has the distinction of being the first detective novel in English set in Kelantan. It also is probably the first crime story in English set in Malaysia where the main character is a female sleuth, Mak Cik Maryam, a street trader.

Shadow Play was the first in a series, the Kain Songket Mysteries. In the last couple of months, Monsoon Books have just published the second novel in the series, Princess Play, which is likely to be equally successful. This time Maryam reluctantly sets out to unravel the mysterious murder of a fellow market trader who was found dead in her bed. Surely her husband who was sleeping beside her must be responsible? Maybe it's not quite so straightforward as sorcery, jealousies and village gossip muddy the waters.

Barbara Ismail herself lived in Kelantan as an anthropologist in the '70s and '80s studying Wayang Siam and the distinctive Kelantan dialect. As a result, reviews of her novels strongly commend the authentic backwoods culture that she recreates as a backdrop to her stories. The plots have also been praised as being intriguing, but not complex, as befits the society in which they are set.

Fresh from enteratining visitors to this year's Singapore Writers' Festival, Barbara will be in Penang for one event this Thursday, 7th November at 2.30 at China House, Victoria Street. To book a place, please contact Michelle Grimsley of Spiral Synergy  by email  or by calling her on 016-457-0221.

The Penang Bookshelf will be in attendance selling both copies of Barbara Ismail's books. If you can't make the event and would like an autographed copy of either one or both of her books, please contact me by email or phone me on 012-972-6485 before noon on Thursday. 


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