(13 Stories Featuring the Idiosyncrasies of Malaysians in their Everyday Lives)
By Aneeta Sundararaj
Publisher: MPH Publishers
Page Number: 172pp
Purchase from MPH Online
Last year, Aneeta Sundararaj had a chance encounter with a reader who loved Aneeta’s self-published novel, The Banana Leaf Men. Shortly after this, Aneeta was reminded of one of her writer friends’ advice which was to “write stories she liked to read”. Together, these sparked Aneeta’s eagerness to return to writing about the everyday lives of the people she met.
Today, Aneeta is proud to present her collection of 13 light-hearted modern-day fables. Her stories chronicle the idiosyncrasies of Malaysians and their dramas and peculiar situations. Many conversations in the various stories are actual dialogues she has had in real life.
A simple turn of events can become a memorable story with Aneeta’s splendid usage of words. Each story written is unique, varying greatly in setting and content. One story features an outlandish and absurd conversation with a man who insisted that if Aneeta wrote his book for free, she would go to heaven. Readers will find themselves immersed in various encounters like a child’s fear of using a public restroom in one story to a lifelong feud between two individuals in the next.
Ultimately, every story describes a true slice of Malaysian life, representing the complexity and eclectic nature of Malaysians. Her stories are relatable and will elicit a laugh or two. Aneeta embeds various aspects of her life in her stories, such as her love for her dog, her previous career in the law, and her thoughts and opinions on religion, culture and spirituality. Her stories will remind readers that reality can sometimes be stranger than fiction.
Video of Launch of The Age of Smiling Secrets
1. Book review: 2 Snakes Whistling at the Same Time
2. ‘On her own terms’ by S. Indra Sathiabalan (14 November 2018) : http://www.thesundaily.my/node/590086