- Name: Suzan Abrams, email: email@example.com
- Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland
Saturday, 28 February 2009
Friday, 27 February 2009
Emirates Festival of Literature: Margaret Atwood on Video Link
In Brief: Emirates Festival of Literature II
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Start of the Emirates Festival of Literature - A Classy Affair
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
I have heard some inside stories firsthand already on the Atwood controversy and Bedell's allegations certainly ended up causing pain to innocent parties.
I think this Festival is a grand thing, helping to open up an otherwise elusive Arab literature to the world.
Monday, 23 February 2009
Sunday, 22 February 2009
I'm Flying to Dubai
Friday, 20 February 2009
I have been on bumpy roads for the longest time. Tomorrow (Saturday) I have another game drive that starts very early in the morning in Arusha and besides the drives, I will also be doing a lot of walking, say up to 4 hours where the wildlife will roam freely and the ranger will carry a rifle. .. just in case, you know. :-)
I have been caught up in a few comical escapades by the Tanzanians - flamboyant local lads who are always trying to get you to buy something and mothers who balance huge baskets on their heads and adorable babies on their backs - and been so exhilarated by the experience.
I will write later to describe my experiences of the Kilamanjaro and the safari in detail. What I will say is that this is a world and that includes Dar es Salaam, still wonderfully untouched by the West. The East Africans have kept their culture and prefer to live their lives - especially the Massai - as if the West still did not exist and it would be relatively easy to locate the exotica - for real - as often described in the famous british classics and the romance a viewer would absorb from films like Gregory Peck's The Snows of Kilamanjaro, is still readily apparent.
The Massai with their colourful robes and long shiny earrngs and necklaces ,and complete with sticks, tranporting provisions on the backs of donkeys and watering holes from where the buffalo and donkeys drink.. it's all here and I'll tell you this, under the vast eternal skyline,... absolutely surreal.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
I will be disconnected from the web for the next 4 days
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Monday, 16 February 2009
Gawd Blass Dar Watar
Sunday, 15 February 2009
I is singin a handsom song
When You Kam to Lagos
Saturday, 14 February 2009
The Easier Wait
Chummy Affair for a Pair!
by Suzan Abrams
A Mexican criminal, whose moustache tickled up a swindle and who stayed below his station, met a lazy donkey with a passion for the wicked drool. The donkey said he would load the fool into Tijuana for a price so slick and cool.
Friday, 13 February 2009
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
I Remember a Malaysian Plagiarist of Two Published English Language Short Stories. I Discovered It Recently. She Never Spoke the Truth
Rest is Paradise
Monday, 9 February 2009
A Thought for Australia
Sunday, 8 February 2009
HausPublishing has also opened a new venture in Arabia Books which distributes and publishes an eclectic collection of Middle-Eastern fiction from the Arab world.
Also, the publishers recently opened a book showroom in London, a few minutes walk from the Sloane Square Tube Station.
Since writing that review and possibly unknown to Haus, I had already purchased a pile of literature from Arabia Books. It's in my Dublin flat at the moment. I'll read them all when I return in March. And I shall definitely be stopping at the London showroom. I ordered the titles from a favourite Irish bookseller. For an affordable price, the paperbacks are of a sophisticated quality and would definitely make for collectors' items.
Saturday, 7 February 2009
by Suzan Abrams
I am a penguin, a clown, a joker, a skeleton and a blue whale dressed in moondust, all at once.
I am indebted to the fallacy of disbelief, where suspicion crowns my giddy head with an Eden thorn and so, I must take my leave at noon, for a swoon so soon - and with dignified huff, while scraping away at the scales of my mermaid skin and riding the crest of an ocean wave that slid down from somewhere in the spying moon.
my last card
I am an illusion after the fact,
always you were seeing, now finally unseeing,
and by the time, my shadow spirits away into the sly dusk
I would have committed the perfect crime
of having outstayed the prime of my time.
And then your eyes popped out unexpectedly from your beautiful face
and lay at my feet, gazing up at me, they looked like wires mangled
in a sphere of darkness, from where I stood, a lantern to your
sorrowed blindness, a charcoal maze of broken kisses.
I hide and sigh sadly, in the state of your plastered mind.
Will you see me?
I must ask again in a 100 years.
Remind me where we sit holding hands to the last supper in eternity.
And neither saying a word.
And now like a mad woman, I run. I scream and fall but I do the noble thing of never looking back. I run to the light in the blighted night. Yes, there is light even in the hagridden face of the cold, expansive night.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
My answer: This music I like me.
- susan abrams -
I took to drinking my biscuit with a straw and to closing my eyes that I might view the pictures on the wall. Then I ate the oven-hot lamplight for supper and what a tame meal too that might be. Next, I curled up to sleep in the air. My bony creaks, grunts and snores did a waltz but I did not fall over. My alarm rang with laughter from the ceiling fan, from where my mattress stood suspended. A fleeing mouse shut it up again and the magic fan turned itself off. I jumped from my bed with youthful candour on my one bad leg and landed in the cupboard.
Animated Clip Art courtesy of: Feebleminds.
The Disillusioned Individual
We live in an ephemeral existence, shouldered by any one number or more of varied transient tragedies that may be soluble and interchangeable in their masquerade to demonstrate the careful balance of ordinary life. We could bubble ourselves up into the fat round sphere of a still moment, engaging in its lively discourses and receiving in its meditative light; but only if we draw away the long evening shadows from curtains of the past. Then remembrances become impossible and time...once more unhurried and newly-born, succumbing to the infancy of the virginal.
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
From my Window: The Ships in Dar
and also February 4, 2009
February 3, 2009
On the famous Selander Bridge which is a coastal line that partly skirts the city and lies about a kilometre away from Dar, a distant cargo haul, caterpillars its way to the high seas with obedient docility. One by one, 10 steely ships pay homage to their regal procession, each shouldered by an eternal skyline. In the brush of mist and cloud, there is no turning back. Only two on faithful watchmen duty, offer a sudden telescopic glance at the curious observer. Their snouts hint at gloom and ferocity. This, should any adventurer trail their secret willful journey.
I woke up this morning and a long blue ship waited outside my window. It stood brave and tall, proudly anchored in the harbour. It dwarfed the vain sleek Catamaran without a second thought.
Unless you live close to a waterfront or dockyard, how often in a life could one wake up to spot a ship poised majestically outside the bedroom window...Not for me, a true child of suburban living. Not a chance, I'm afraid. This afternoon, a black cargo ship with a strip of shocking pink circling its belly, and a reckless jet boat, both jostled for space on the way out to sea. How gruff and grandfather-ish appeared the stern ship dressed in its eccentric party bow and how unrepentant, the beautiful brazen boat while tossed about on the waters in its high dance of flamboyance and agility. I wish I could have gone to the party.- suzan abrams -
January 27, 2009
Last evening, I rushed to the bay window of my hotel room, like a child at Christmas. The loud trombone groan of the Catamaran called out sternly to warn off a small but brave fishing boat. How it bellowed up a roar! It could have been a case of a stubborn David with Goliath but for the naive Dar fisherman and his ancient wooden companion. Armed with its striking flourescent red light as an only weapon, the fisherman cared none for the Catamaran's snobbish rumble and with a lone oar, beat a hasty retreat.
A passing dhow shrugged at this mad truancy.
Here the super-speed ferry was returning with the usual blustery pomp from the Zanzibar. Soon it would retire for the night anchored at the harbour, along with other rackety ferries devoid of their makeup and lost in snores and yawns. Clearly, the spanking white Catamaran was queen of the Waterfront. It would be lulled by the sounds of a soft rain as it rested amid the wind. It was dusk after all and the waters had trembled madly under the ferry's bulky cellulite weight, in an earlier teary bid to float regally to attention.
Bold ripples made the coast look like a parade of wrinkly ladies, their skin creamed with a buttered sheen. Not that the army of birds which rested on the nearby palm trees cared as much for this vanity. Intent on a last supper, the greedy swallows black in the darkening twilight would polka-dot the brim of the ocean like the latest design of smooth slippery fabric sashaying up the Parisian catwalk.
Together they waltzed; the amorous birds dipping kisses into the shy pale sea.
In the middle of the waters, sat an old dame of a forgotten homeless barge, still panting and puffing her way to an unknown destination from three days ago. She twirled and swayed on her last rusty hinges, this way and that, almost as if she would lift first a weathered knee, then a broken toe, then a stiff ankle and so be it.
Was there a hospice at sea? She would find it!
Occassionally, the other boats would extend a courtesy call by sailing carefully around her, then dashing past afraid that she would attempt a watery hitchhike and steal their catch.
Only last night in the heavy rain, the coast wore a mist of tears, hiding its strange blue face. The storm clouds watched anxiously but decided they would gatecrash anyway.
Today, the happier emerald waters of the Indian Ocean play their carefree game of sink-n-swim. I wonder if deep in their bottom hearts, there lay still the wreckage of a treasure chest from the days of when Tanzania first sheltered its famous slave towns
January 25, 2009
I am in East Africa today. I actually arrived here on Sunday. What can I say? Scenes spell the exactness of films. Clamour, chaos, crowds and a colourful clutter about sums it up.
My harbour-front view paints the picture of a sparkling Indian Ocean. It splashes up a rich shade of royal blue ink. I'm close to the coast and the wide windows reveal the remnant strips of a closing sunset.
Other friendly greeters stay the anchored fishing boats, steamers, ferries and the last Catamaran for the day, sailing eager passengers off to the Zanzibar.
The occasional dhow as light as a feather tails the wind. It zooms past the tall window. The Tanzanians saunter along the coast and mud-tracks, content that it's a Sunday. I want to weep with the bitter sweet-sadness of an old forgotten nostalgia, far more beseeching than childhood.
In the night, only the magnificent shimmering lights shape an ocean in twilight. They beckon at my shadowy face. But I spy the sea anyway.
Restless in its tranquility, it shivers and shakes, its shine too beautiful to resemble a grumbling bellyache. Instead, I imagine cold wobbling jelly...majestic and decorative, styled on a tray.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Monday, 2 February 2009
Chiew-Siah Tei, Scotland based Malaysian Novelist Participates in the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival March 8-18, 2009
The Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival to be held from March 8-18 2009, has just displayed its new list of participating authors and full programme.
This year the big name author in attendance will be Margaret Atwood. Also, one of the rare times when the Man Booker Winner in this case Aravind Adiga for The White Tiger, does not present an appearance.
You may catch the author list here and the full programme here.
The new Malaysian novelist participating is Scotland-based Chiew-Siah Te of Little Hut of Leaping Fishes who together with Xujun Eberlein and Neel Chowdhury will talk to Marysia Juszczakiewicz about diaspora writers, the idea of geographical displacement and a possibly redundant homeland. (Saturday March 14, 10.00 to 11.00 at the Fringe Theatre - a ticket costs HK$110 for general booking and HK$85 for priority booking). Title: Dislocated Voices
On March 16 (12.30pm@the Foreign Correspondents' Club HK$180), Chiew-Siah Tei who is also a billingual Malaysian author, will discuss the trends and consequences to English Language and Literature as an increasing number of non-native speakers worldwide experiement with writing in English. Title: The Latest Trend: Writing in English.
On March 17 (10.00am at the Helena May Blue Room - tickets HK$110) , Chiew-Siah Tei who is also a screenwriter and playwright, once more holds conversation with Marysia Juszczakiewicz as she talks to Janice Lee, author of the popular The Piano Teacher, on the development of strong female characters. Title: The Female Pen. Coffee and tea included.