Written in black by K H Lim

IMG_7060Set in Brunei. Reviewed on 2018/11: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqu0mR4nDbI/

A writer sets out to write about something specific and then the readers see something else. It’s inevitable. Interpretations of a book abound as much as there are people in this world. I think that when you read stories from or set in different countries, the amount of potential interpretations increase exponentially. I’m saying all this spiel because I felt that there were so many levels of #lostintranslationwhen reading #writteninblack . Considering all the lackluster reviews online, I think the main problem here is that #khlim never intended to write a book which will represent #brunei in any #globalliteraturecircles whatsoever or to serve as an introduction to the country or its people. I think because a lot of readers like myself have not been able to find any other literature options on Brunei, this book has become the defacto and unwilling ambassador of its country. That makes me think that we need to be extra vigilant and careful when putting these Miss Universe/UNESCO/Lonely Planet labels on books. #lim wrote a #comingofage story set in the #chinese community in a #tinycountry on the island of #borneo . I would like to encourage everyone reading this book to keep this in mind, while obviously coming up with your own opinions and reflections. At the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the coming of age and #roadtrip components of this book. It was nostalgic and heartwarming to read this kid’s self-discovery adventure struggling with the outside world as much as within himself. Yes, the simplicity of the prose and the gaps in the story might be issues especially for people like me with no links whatsoever to the country or local culture. BUT personally I think these challenges are a good way to search more information online or even just let the story flow. Let the story really talk to you in its own way, not fully understanding everything and even enjoying what we might consider its “weaknesses”, “biases” and “shortcomings”. #recommended #bruneiliterature#bandarseribegawan #monsoon#monsoonbooks #bruneian #australia#sultanate #motherless

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