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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Monday, August 14, 2006


The Bryon Bay Writers Festival may have had its share of frosty days, but that didn't stop the 'Reflection' - all day and all night long.

With Nury Vittachi and Sabine Amoore-Pinon, it was a delightful romp through humour and what got lost and found in translation.

On the Asian Writing panel, it was a heady mix. Partly because Nury was back with his regaling 'Pathak tales'. Richard and Ketut Yuliarsa provided interesting accounts of what's happening with Indonesian Literature. If these two writers have their way and they increasingly look like they are - the future for the Indonesian voice is positively bright.

I, for one, remain insanely optimistic about the Asian voice. The fact that you can go into any Indian bookstore and pick the books written by your kind of Indian author says a lot. A lot of Indians are reading what they want to read - take Chetan Bhagat's startling marketing success for one. And the Asian tale has its charms. Ok it was penned by an Australian, but 'Shantaram' so far has sold more than 6,000 copies in the Singapore and Malaysian markets alone. For a wrist breaker and in a market where the perpetual complaint is that "people just aren't reading enough" - that's a stupendous feat.

The Asian in the global literary voice is here to stay - a billion people and more just wouldn't have it any other way....