Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Berjaya membaca Novel Melayu

Well, I haven't really read or finished any Malay novel since Cincin Permata Biru by Mior Shariman back in 1996. It's a 492 pages book filled with witty words and brilliant storyline that kept me awake for a few nights. I was still studying and stayed in a rented apartment back then with 5 other girls. The book was borrowed by my flatmate from her friend. We took turns to read. For those who had finished reading it, they're not allowed to discuss about it to avoid spoilers. It was good, but when I tried to read other Malay novels after that I stopped and lost interest half way.

I didn't want to stereotype Malay Novels but everytime I read those I borrowed from my friends the stories were all very disappointing because each one just repeated the same story but with different characters and backdrop. At one point, I could guess the whole story just by reading the synopsis at the back. And they're all about love-unrequited, revenge, betrayal, perfect men (which we know they don't exist), unhappy marriages while the main characters were mostly women. Since most of the writers were women, it's only natural to have a female protagonists, no?

Between 1996 - 2000 I used the LRT almost on a weekly basis and couldn't help but noticed how popular those books were. Well, most of the commuters who read were females. The guys would either be sleeping or pretending not to see the old lady or pregnant women standing near their seats. I managed to finish a few thick novels in the LRT but none of them were Malay love stories.

The four book racks I had at home were filled with English fictions. Whenever I ran out of space, I'd gave some of the books to friends, sold some and lost some. But you just don't find any Malay title on my shelves.
Everytime I went to MPH or Popular I would make a long stop at the Malay Novel aisles but none of the synopsis managed to convince me to part with my RM20 or 30 (Yes, Malay Novels are that cheap.)

Until two months ago, I have actually given up on Malay Novels. Then I saw Amir Muhammad's announcement on Twitter about the FIXI books. A few decades ago, they can be categorized as Novel Picisan but hey, the most read newspaper in this country happens to be Harian Metro anyway.

So, I went to KL International Book Fair and bought 3 FIXI books and read them all within a week. The books are not suitable for my kids, so I had to put them on the top shelf. Wazif was asking about them and I told him that he can read the books once he's 18 years old. He asked why, so I told him 'Ini cerita orang besar-besar.' Yeah, don't expect to read about gadis ayu, pemalu, bertudung litup menyimpan perasaan terhadap boss nya yang tidak berperibadi mulia tetapi kaya raya dan sungguh misteri yang kemudiannya berubah personaliti lantas menyedari cinta gadis pemalu itu lalu mengambilnya sebagai isteri.

I enjoyed all the books and bought the 4th title last week. I don't intend to put any spoiler here so I won't write any review. I'm just going to say that after 15 years, these books made me read Malay Novels again.


Hazyr said...

Thank you for sharing your restored confidence :)

Maybe it's time for me to start reading Malay novels again too. The last time was in STF (form 3 I think!)

dyllensa said...

penah baca novel hlovate, noor suraya atau andrea hirata tak.. plot cerita agak lain dari biasa.. ;D

Odahnerina Jameela said...

u are totally right...nowadays the 'rape then fall in love' theme bcme a hotseller novel...whats wrong with our society huh??are women that blind?come on we can do better than be frank i hate malay novels..hate the Datin Datin goes all rampage on her menantu..but i do enjoy Ramlee Awang Murshid novels..its diffrent,not a lovey dovey stereotype and certainly not "hati saya milik awak,saya boleh mati tanpa awak" kinda type...u should try it tho...start with Pei Pan then if u like it u can proceed with Bagaikan Puteri saga..its a masterpiece!! but dont get ur hopes high..coz selera masing2 right?but coming from me who worships Wicked by Gregory Maguire u can bet its worth ur rm22.. :))

Jay said...

Couldn't agree more, my dear.