These are the five books in which I was involved as writer this year!
1. Rojak (ZI Publications, July). My first fiction book comprised 60 "bite-sized stories." Strangely enough, after I had enough for the book, I found myself unable to write anything else of the same word-length. So, alas, it looks like the book will have no 'sequel' in the foreseeable future. I am pleased that this spent a few weeks at #1 on the MPH bestseller list and even one week atop the Kinokuniya list. Alhamdulillah.
2. 120 Malay Movies (Matahari Books, August). It took me about two years to complete, and I was sad to let it go! Weirdly enough, it has been bought mainly as gifts for people's fathers or grandfathers. And here I was, thinking it would be vividly contemporary! The most common annoying question that I have received about it: "Did you REALLY watch all 120?" Well, duh...
3. Best of Southeast Asian Erotica (Monsoon Books, Singapore; September). A version of my story "The Sex Thing with the Tempoyak" is included in this naughty anthology. Although I haven't read all the stories in this volume, my favourite so far is Lee Ee Leen's "Aqua Subculture," which is a gorgeous, shimmering, slippery thing. According to the editor Richard Lord: "All the Malaysian submissions indicate an ironic, sometimes even comic approach to the question of human sexuality." I'm glad to know it.
4. Kuala Lumpur Panorama (Editions Didier Miller, Kuala Lumpur; the copyright date is 2011 but it has been on sale locally since late 2010). I did the text for this photo-book on KL. Well, I didn't have to write much since SC Shekar's photos did most of the work! But writing the 3,000 word Introduction was fun as I could express what I felt about the city I spent most of my life in (although I now live in PJ).
5. Asian Women in Film (Cathay Organisation, Singapore; December). This is the most beautiful of the lot. It weighs several kilos (I kid you not) and is a fabric-bound hardcover. It highlights 28 women who made an impact in their respective fields. When the Executive Director of Cathay Organisation asked if I would write the chapter on Yasmin Ahmad, it didn't take me long to say Yes! Other women featured include Christine Hakim, Aishwarya Rai, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh. Only 1,500 numbered copies of this book were printed; it's not for sale and is a corporate gift from Cathay, but I expect the better libraries would get copies, too.
I hope there will be more titles in 2011. Insya-Allah! And may the Gregorian New Year bring good things to you, too.