“Every author is a reader whilst every reader has a book in his heart.”
Hosted by Owen Yap, a famous TV news anchor, “The Author’s Choice”, a series of reading and interview programs jointly produced by China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur and The Interview, would be broadcast in seven episodes. Each of them featured a well-known Malaysian writer whose works would be introduced to the readers through a dialogue with Owen Yap.
As a means to enhance the interest of the program, the Centre specially invited Owen Yap, a famous news anchor in Malaysia, as the host. It combined with interviews, comments, reading aloud, pictures and text narratives and other comprehensive means to drive reading amongst the public and savoring great books.
As a significant city of Chinese literature in the world, there has always been no shortage of excellent Chinese writers in Malaysia. Malaysian writers who would appear in “The Author’s Choice” series include Tai Hsiao Hua, Leong Ching Foon, Tan Chia Yong, Looi Yoke Tho, Fang Lu, Duo La and Lee Xin Yi. They would share their favorite Chinese novelists and their classic representative works such as Jin Yong, Mo Yan, Xi Xi, Gu Cheng, Pan Xiangli, Leung Man-tao and Mao Jian.
May 27, 2020 till August 19, 2020
China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur
China Construction Bank
The Authors’ Choice
When Tai Hsiao Hua met Jin Yong
Tai Hsiao Hua, vice president of the World Federation of Chinese Literature, began to read Jin Yong at the age of 21 and was destined to befriend Jin Yong herself on the journey of literary creation.
Although she likes to read Jin Yong’s works, what has remained in Tai Hsiao Hua’s heart all these years is not martial arts novels, but Jin Yong’s prose collection.
Owen Yap and Tai Hsiao Hua will take you to know Jin Yong other than the light and saber of swords!
When Leong Ching Foon met Xixi
“My City”, a famous masterpiece that has been recited by the West for more than 30 years, has a unique style and is considered to be the pioneering indigenous works in Hong Kong. In the past, Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, was only a transit haunt for passers-by, and people only regarded it as a borrowed place. Only until the 1970s, Hong Kong people had a sense of belonging to this land and began to feel that Hong Kong was their city. As the Hong Kong author Xi Xi wrote, Hong Kong was “my city” of Hong Kong people.
Leong Ching Foon, a Malaysian writer, had been studying Xixi since she went to college. Whilst Xixi had written for 60 years, and Ching Foon has been her reader for some 20 years.
She believes that as a reader as well as a literary creator, it is very important to choose an author with longevity in terms of writing life like Xi Xi.
Owen Yap and Leong Ching Foon would take you to meet Xixi who lives in my city!
When Looi Yoke Tho met Gu Cheng
“The night gave me black eyes, but I used them to find the light.”
Some people remember Gu Cheng because of the rumour that he killed his wife with an axe on his deathbed, while others remember Gu Cheng because of his poem “The Generation”.
The tension between darkness and light is an eternal proposition for human beings, so that this poem could transcend the limitation of time and space, and it is regarded as a classic by the world today.
Looi Yoke Tho, a Malaysian poet, has read Gu Cheng since his youth. Similar to Gu Cheng, he began to write poems in his teens. In his view, Gu Cheng’s poems are full of the beauty of fairy tales and the cruelty of reality. The influence of his poetic style is not just limited to one generation only.
Owen Yap and Looi Yoke Tho would take you to meet Gu Cheng, who is looking for light in the dark.
When Tan Chia Yong met Leung Man-Tao
Common sense is actually honesty. This is a dialogue between two senior news anchors, who broadcast the worldly turbulences day and night. Tan Chia Yong remarked that the simplest way to say ‘general knowledge” is common sense. We all know things. But look at these worldly turmoil, do we really have the so-called common sense?
Hong Kong writer Leung Man-tao assembled the current affairs review of previous years into a collection and published it as an anthology on current affairs entitled “Common Sense”. It rendered some razor-sharp analysis and review on current affairs, politics, civic education, and the likes. Chia Yong could still reap surprises after first and repeated readings thereby augmenting new common sense.
Common sense is simply common sense. It is thought to be innate at first glance. But in fact common sense is a kind of accumulation of experiences in life as it becomes routine or daily because it has been tested over and over again. But does every day mean that it can be eternal?
Owen Yap and Tan Chia Yong together took you to meet Leung Man-tao, who is honest and faces common sense.
When Duo La met Pan Xiangli
As the ancient saying muses: A man is wary of ending up with the wrong profession, but a woman is afraid of marrying the wrong man.”
It seems to have set a tone, men without a career are failures, and women without a happy love family are deemed likewise too. But do people really want to exist in order to realise the imagination of others?
Chinese author Pan Xiangli discussed this problem in “green chiretta” or “chuan xin lian”. “Chuan xin lian” refers to a lotus seed with its heart pierced and there will be no bitterness ever since.
Can our life be like this? Without intention, there can be no desire, no hope, without pain or bitterness?
Owen Yap and Du La took you together to meet pan Xiangli who penetrates a woman’s heart.
When Fang Lu met Mo Yan
Fang Lu, a Malaysian writer who has been in contact with Mo Yan’s works since 1989, said that what attracted him most was the way he told stories and his ability to master novels. “Mo Yan once used 1500 words to describe a sunset, which is very powerful.”
Owen Yap together with Fang Lu, would take you to meet Nobel Prize winner, Mo Yan.
When Lee Xin Yi met Mao Jian
How long has it been since you last read a good book?
In this era of information explosion, people pursue fast and accurate information, especially fast. In the face of all kinds of news changing rapidly on social networks which is not only the convenience brought by the development of science and technology, but also it causes us to lose the ability to read and fathom things slowly.
Mao Jian, a Chinese female author who once said that in the past it was the literati who did the writing for the public to read. Now it is mass writing, but no one reads it. In this age when everyone is eager to talk, yet no one has the patience to listen at all. Malaysian artist Lee Xin Yi reckons that reading has become extremely valuable, even weirdly expensive.
Owen Yap and Lee Xin Yi will take you to meet Mao Jian, a female author who has both elegance and profanity.