Dimsum: Asia’s Literary Journal
Nury Vittachi, ed Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Chameleon Press, Spring 2005
“Get Down on Your Duff and Read …
Do you read? A simple question that elicits either nervous laughter or sneering indignation. The question is not one of literacy so much as one of culture. We all read. Anyone who graduated from high school or holds down a job reads. The question is whether or not we read for the sheer pleasure of it. ” (bc Magazine)
Now in its tenth volume, Dimsum continues to attract authors from all walks of life. In all, 19 authors and 25 works are featured. Each author comes with their own introduction, and the work here is as rich and diverse as the backgrounds and experiences of the writers. The opening story, “I Have No Name of My Own” by Yu Hua is told through the eyes of a village idiot, and is eerily touching within its limited, simplistic language. Its simple lexis is juxtaposed with Thomas Keneally’s “Sydney Experiment,” a true exercise in the English language.
Set in China when foot binding was still common, “The Rain,” an excerpt from the novel, The Secret Language of Women, by Nina Romano depicts an educated, forward-thinking woman’s quest to abort her baby before her backward farmer of a husband discovers she’s pregnant with their second child.
Poet Alvin Pang eloquently describes the hopes, dreams and fears of seven unrelated characters in SE7EN. On a lighter note, Hsu-Ming Teo’s The Truth in Toilets is wonderfully accurate in its portrayal of a Chinese mother’s embarrassing public toilet habits, while Mani Rao explores our deception of our heritages. A great anthology for discovering new talents or revisiting favourites, even if it’s not all your cup of tea.
Dimsum Asia’s Literary Journal, Spring 2005 by Thomas Keneally, Hua Yu, Nina Romano, and Nury Vittachi (Paperback – Feb 28, 2005)
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