Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why the Singaporean National Library banned me

My Singaporean literary agent gave me the scoop on why Dark City was banned by the Singaporean National Library.

"DC was restricted because of profane language and obscene content,says the report. No surprise,there is always a double standard when the authorities censure the local works as compared to their leniency with English and American works."

I see. So they are allowed to stock American and English books with profane and obscene content, like works from DC Lawrence or Joyce. But NOT Singaporean and Malaysian works.

I don't get it. Why the double standards? Are we in South East Asia meant to be 'pure'?

PURE? Us Asians? Who's anyone trying to kid?


Ted Mahsun said...

Oh well. At least, instead of borrowing your books, Singaporeans can just buy them from the stores. More royalties for you! *ka-ching*

Xeus said...

Hee hee, Ted.

Anyway, I need all the sales help I can get. My publisher said I sold 2000 books so far since it was out in June (May 18th in 1 Utama), and that's really slow for him. He's used to the fast moving Malay books which by now would have sold 20,000 copies.

So I said that's why we are getting translated into Malay!

Anyway, English titles here are not known to sell by the tens of thousands, so I assured him we were doing OK as far as English titles were concerned.

Lydia Teh said...

That's really something, Xeus! 2,000 copies is what some one us sell in 2 years. So, it's an achievement.

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Wow, that does sound like an awful lot for a locally-published book in English! And you're almost definitely going to really start minting it when the Bahasa versh is out... ;)

Congratulations... And like Ted said, as unfortunate as the library ban is in principle, it may come with rewards!

Steph said...

Hey, Xeus, i did buy your book at last, at Borders, The Curve. Only read half way so far, but overall it's been an entertaining and chilling read! Good job on the plot twists at the end.

Steph said...

btw, the yellow cover does draw one's attention towards to book, but the book is far too chilling to be yellow ;)

pavlova said...

Asians tend to pride themselves of being "pure" and not as loose as the 'ang mohs', when in actual fact we are more kinky than them. the stricter the regime, the more people are curious about it.

oh, no worries. it's their loss for banning.. heheh
i'm sure other markets around the world are keen on your work :)

Xeus said...

Dear all, just got back from Langkawi! Thanks for all the kind comments. Imagine those Malay books that sell by the tens of thousands. Wow, that's really something. But I hear it's only the romance genre that does well in Malay.

Thanks, Steph! I'm changing the cover for the Malay eiditon.

Pavlova, the Japanese are the kinkiest of all :)

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