Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Angry" by Catalina Rembuyan-A Malaysian Short Story

"Angry" by Catalina Rembuyan (6 pages, 2007)-

Third Post in A Series of Five in Honor of Malaysian Independence Day

About three week ago Jovenus of Biblio Junkie and I decided we would do a joint posting in honor of Malaysian Independence Day which is observed on August 31.     I more or less got the idea for this project from Novroz' posting  in honor of Indonesian Independence day on her blog , observed on August 17.   I ended up doing a series of five posts on short stories by Indonesian women, all written in the 21th century.   I really enjoyed doing this project and wanted to see if I could expand the idea to other countries.   At the time I did a Google search on independence days world wide to see how many South and South East Asian countries observe an independence day.  I noticed Malaysian Indepedence Day is observed August 31.   I was very interested in posting on Malaysian literature in part because Malaysia is less than two hours away from my home in Manila.    Also most historians see Malay culture as having a large influence on pre-colonial Filipino history.
Jovenus has done a great overall post on Malaysia (for which she has a special knowledge and affinity) which explains the history of Malaysia and its struggle for Independence.   She also talks about some of the best known Malaysian writers of today.   I decided as my contribution to our project to post on five short stories by contemporary Malaysian writers.    This will be done in a series of five posts.     This is my third post in the series.    

Catalina Rembuyan, author of "Angry" and numerous other short stories works at and and is working on an advanced degree at the University of Malaysia.   "Angry" is a simple story that any one who has ever walked their children past the candy store window can directly relate to.

Anna saw the chocolate shop. It was a very small shop, but it had all of the richest and the tastiest chocolates that could be found in the Klang Valley: chocolates coating raisin jelly, chocolates coating more layers of chocolate coating nuts, chocolates white and sweet, and chocolates hidden in caramel shells. She felt an urge to grab one rise in her, and thought of stopping for a minute or two - which, she reminded herself; she had no time for, and marched straight on towards the ticket counter. Then she heard Samantha yowl.   "I want a chocolate!"

What parent from wherever you may be cannot relate to how trying this can be:

Samantha gave one last bitter howl, a howl Anna thought would never end, howling and howling and filling the air with thick shame, until the howl turned into a whimper and Anna heard a sob. Moments later Anna heard another howl on her shoulder. Samuel had woken up and was bawling his heart out, confused and frightened by the commotion, sensing the bitterness in his mother's voice. Samuel's tears sparked more tears from Samantha and a fresh flow of tears poured out of her eyes. 

Emotional blackmail works pretty much the same everywhere.    Everyone in the train station where the shop is located seems to be looking at the mother and thinking what a horrible little child raised by a quite unfit mother.  

"Angry" is just a simple story that any parent can relate to.  It can be read online here

Mel u

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