Posted on December 30 2017
If you've loved what Spotify did with your playlists of the year, you'd love this literature wrap up. We asked writers and poets to look back on what they have read the past year. Of course, all credits for the idea goes to the team at the music streaming platform.
editor of Sikit-Sikit Lama-Lama Jadi Bukit
(image credit: Alvin Pang)
How many books have you read this year?
Which authors have made an impact on you?
AB: Paulo Freire — He's my Prophet! Reading the word and the world is my life mantra. His works shaped the way I view education and my identity as an educator. Pedagogy of the Oppressed was the first book I read and I return to his books every time hope seems to be diminishing...
Syed Hussein Alatas — My Malay studies guru. His critical analysis of issues sets the direction on how I comprehend the problems we face. It's not enough to simply pose a problem but more importantly, the need to analyse the possible causes by looking in depth at the realities and the structures put in place that perpetuate them. And of course, offer a solution without being condescending and adopting a reductionist approach.
Edward W. Said — Someone who speaks the truth to power! A true literary critic who gave birth to one of the most important studies of imperialism and orientalism. He advocates freedom of consciousness, historical literacy and the responsibility to challenge the hegemonic power of cultural formation. This is indeed true as a text is not simply a creative work but it also bears witness to the social and cultural environment in which it was created, the worldview it encapsulates and thus, it is a piece of the community as well as nation's treasure.
Chairil Anwar — He writes with intense imagery, raw emotions and sensual and yet, highly critical of the tumultuous situation Indonesia was facing at that point in time.
Leonard Cohen — Profound and absolutely divine! He made words, thoughts and emotions more alive than ever!
What are your top books of the year?
• Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641−1699 — Sher Banu A. L. Khan
• The Blind Owl – Sadegh Hedayat
• The Gatekeeper – Nuralish Norasid
• Singapore's Vanished Public Housing Estates
• Senja di Jakarta – Ahmad Gaus
What genres have you enjoyed most this year?