Monday, 29 October 2007

When Awang Meets The Pengembara at the Royal Asiatic Society

Thanks to:
Since the birth of GUIT, life has somewhat changed, not least because my bag weighs a few tons more, causing a strain on my shoulders while walking and pretending to AG that I wasn’t carrying any copies of GUIT. The unsuspecting writer/husband would only be aware of my marketing ploy when I fish out a copy to flash it in front of unsuspecting and vulnerable buyers.

Soon, he will be writing on Why You Must Never Allow Spouse to be Marketing Manager/Agent!

Take a simple outing to the bank in Oxford Street for instance. After a very tedious transaction, I spotted a familiar face at the bureau de change. It was none other than a former Finance Minister (FFM). I knew instantly what I had to do, much to the horror of hubby and son who were prepared to make a dash out of the bank, but decided against it in case people thought they were running out with bags of money. So they waited while I waited for the opportune moment to flash GUIT before FFM. Admittedly, FFM hails not from Trengganu but a neighbouring state. But what is a few miles between states, eh? Aaaah, he said, you’ve not been home since those days? Yes, we admitted, recalling his visits to the London head office when we were minding the shop in Fleet Street. Needless to say, he walked away with a copy of GUIT in his hand.

Then of course it was the Conference to celebrate 50 years of Britain/Malaysia relationship and an interview with our Foreign Minister ended with, Er, can I be so bold as to give you something?
“Ah, he is a good writer – I must read this,” he said and walked away for all to see with a copy of GUIT. I then waylaid Datuk Dr Munir Majid at the same event, and whetted the appetite of our Minister for Domestic Trade all the way from Southampton to Dublin recently. He too left with a copy of GUIT.

My husband suspects people will soon be crossing the road when they see me!

Well after all the trouble I took to get friends, (including Dato Shoe) to bring over the books, you can’t blame me for finding ways and means to publicise it. After all I have publicised other people’s books so why shouldn’t I do the same for my own husband?

That is easier said than done. My dear friend Dr Annabel Gallop had the same apprehensive feelings about telling people about her father’s second book – Wanderer in Malaysian Borneo. Both Awang and Pengembara (Christopher Gallop) are painfully shy and bashful about their books, so it left us wife and daughter to do the publicity campaign. Annabel decided on an evening to celebrate the two authors at the Royal Asiatic Society – a better place we couldn’t find for our celebrated authors! It is home to some very precious Malay manuscripts, such as hikayats that Raffles brought back with him.

Dr Ben Murtagh from SOAS (my former lecturer) did a good job introducing the two authors, drawing parallels between their reminisecne and travels with his own and Annabel pointed to the similarities between the two - both using pseudonyms and both kampung boys – one from Kuala Trengganu writing in London and the other from Wimbledon writing in Penang.

This is not Chris Gallop’s first book – he had written Wanderer in Brunei Darussalam some years back and both books are based on his weekly contributions to the Borneo Bulletin. A man I truly admire, one for having such an intelligent and wonderful daughter who is an authority in Malay manuscripts, and secondly for his perseverance and tireless effort to study. He did his MA in Malay literature in 2001 at the USM at the age of 70. That spurred me on to do mine in the same area three years ago and he kindly gave me a copy of Winsted’s English Malay dictionary to get me going.

The man who claimed to be Awang Goneng spoke at length about why he wrote the book – remembering the sounds and tunes of yesteryears and watching the stars from the plastic sheet in the roof of their house. He managed to tug at the heartstrings of a few unsuspecting friends who then parted with some money to buy the book.

Tash Aw took a break from his writing and we appreciate that very much.

All in all, a wonderful evening with close friends and family. In a sense the journeys of the authors which started from two different places miles away brought the two families of the Wans and the Gallops even closer together at the RAS.

Ton Din’s kuayteow and Pn Jamilah’s curripuffs were the talk of the evening and beyond. We came home and looked at the photographs taken by another dear friend Azman. What a wonderful evening.

Thanks to

So, thank you all.


Pak Zawi said...

Kah Teh,
Ain't that the impersonator of Awang Goneng with Christopher Gallop? I think I have seen him somewhere hehehehe.
Hebat Awang Goneng ni. Syabas to you and your hubby.

Nazrah Leopolis said...

oh the reading!!! video please!

Anonymous said...

Phee weeett!!! Itu signed copy for me ka?? hehe...

wonda said...

I wanted to wait till you post everything up but I can't resist telling you this. What a handsome husband you have! He reminds me of Omar Shariff. I like that hairstyle. Again, Syabas on his success!

LifeBloom said...

Wow! The Royal Asiatic Society no less!!! Must say that Mr & Mrs AG bagai pinang di belah dua....


Kak Teh said...

zawi, yes, it is the same impersonator!!! He seems to be everywhere these day, hahaha! Thank you for your kind words.

nazrah, video? for your eyes only.

klmuk, hantar saja alamt, akan ku kirimkan senaskah bersign! kalau bayar lebih sikit, kak teh pun tumpang sign sama - dan lebih sikit lagi, semua kucing akan letakkan tanda tangan, kaki dan segalanya.

Kak Teh said...

wonda, i tried to look at him from every angle and still couldnt find the resemblance to Omar Sharif! His son Taufiq cut his hair too short - made him look like the real awang goneng.

lifebloom - yes, the RAS no less... and a copy of the book will certainly be there.

Blabarella said...

Wah, segak dan tampan saudara AG ni. Patutlah kucing2 dia semua pun segak2 belaka. ;D

Kak Teh said...

blabs, hahaha ! yes, I can see a bit of Tabby there..especially the whiskers.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh
Is there going to be an audio CD/DVD, just like Jeremy Irons excellent reading of Brideshead Revisited? With GUIT in audio CD/DVD, we can just play it on and on, while travelling from Kedah to Kelantan or KL, or wherever? Who can pronounce all those Ganu words to perfection, if not you-know-who? Jut a thot.

Anonymous said...

Aaaahh...your Robert Redford is finally in the spotlights.

Kak Teh, tell Intan that she should trade in her mops and pinesol for this book during her confinement.

Rockybru said...

handsome si Awang ni.
by the way, Ah, who is publishing and distributing his book in Malaysia and, in particular, Terengganu?

ZABS said...

Salam Kak Teh,
Dah lama tak ke kedai buku. Buku tu dah ada diedar ke di Malaysia.
Semakin berumur semakin handsome AG tu ye.

Kak Teh said...

GUIT in CD or DVD? Oh dear, we do not think that far ahead. Even with the books we cant get the stock! It is fritrating because we are here and we dont know what's happening in the bookshops. Yes, you know who was at the celebration evening recently.

Robert Redford...hahaha- you crack me up! I read in your blog that your Shahruh Khan is going to Stockholm ?

rocky, thanks for the compliment - and i have emailed thereply.

zabs,jengkuk-jenguklah kat kedai buku, mana tau kut ada. Kalau masih tak ada kena , we have to let the publishers know.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations once again!

What a handsome man and very photogenic!

Kak Teh said...

Judy, thanks and yes, handsome??? he had a new haircut!

AuntieYan said...

Salam Kak Teh...:-)

Minat jugak dengan buku tu...aisehmen! sayang sekali dah tak larat nak merayap ke kedai buku..insyaallah nak minta tolong kawan carikan...

pssttt....berapa duit tuh??

Anonymous said...

Among d few write ups I've read on 'Growing up in Trengganu', I think your previous entry is d best of all. I'm tempted to read it now, hehe..
I'm expecting my first short stories collection out in d market next week:)

Anonymous said...

Err.. Mrs. AG, Dr. Zhivago then? :D Oh well, how about his moustache? No? Hmm...I wish for a pair of good eyes. Mind enlarging the photo? Hehe!

IBU said...

Sekali pandang macam Dato K
Rupanya...oh! hubby Kak Teh

Nama glamer Awang Goneng
Kita nak baca apa dia goreng

Mana tau isi dan jalan cerita
Boleh tundukkan si Harry Potter?!

Hmmm... ni cubaan nak berseloka
Saja .... suka-suka!

Kak Teh said...

auntyYan, kalau di malaysia cumaRM39.90 katanya. Itu yang kak teh baca online - mungkin harga bertukar entahlah. Sila lah baca, ya!

hazia, thanks and will be looking forwards to your stories - well done!

alice, yes, do check your eyes again!

Dato ' K...hahahaha! ibu oh ibu! Kalaulah bank account macam dato k jugak!

Lydia Teh said...

Kak Teh, I don't know if you know this but GUIT has made it into the Top 10 list in MPH! (I stumbled upon it at Amir Muhammad's blog). Congratulations to you and AG. Your hard work is paying off.

Here's the list.

MPH Non-Fiction Best-Seller List
for the week ending 28 October

1. My Story
Author : Lim Goh Tong

2. Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things (Vol. 1)
Author : Amir Muhammad

3. The Unmaking of Malaysia: Insider's Reminiscenes of UMNO, Razak and Mahathir
Author : Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

4. In Good Faith: Articles, Essays and Interviews
Author : Zaid Ibrahim

5. As I Was Passing
Author : Adibah Amin

6. The AirAsia Story: How a Young Airline Made It Possible for Everyone to Fly and Become a Runaway Success
Author : Sen Ze; Jayne Ng

7. Gravedigger's Kiss
Author : Tunku Halim

8. Makan Gaji Tetapi Kaya
Author : Shamsuddin Abdul Kadir

9. Ada Bagus Bagusss
Author : Dr HM Tuah Iskandar Al-Haj

10. Growing Up in Trengganu
Author : Awang Goneng

Unknown said...

Yayy Kak Teh,

Dah jauh malam here I manage to open this commnent box. Just came back home and nak stay up late, tomorrow's a Sunday kan?

Wooo..AG aka Omar Shariff aka Robert Redford...hmm..who else? He he. George Clooney? Sultan Azlan..he he. Best teasing ya.

Cute to note AG's most ardent fan doing the spin for GUIT. Attaway to go gutsy ladeh!

Can't wait for some launches here. Salam dear.

Honeytar said...

Mrs Awang Goneng,

Tahniah kerana menjadi sumber inspirasi diatas kejayaan Tuan.
Beruntung lah Tuan Awang Goneng karna Mrs Goneng juga berbakat menjadi Marketing Manager beliau.

Kami di Malaysia mendoakan kejayaan dan kebahgiaan yang berpanjangan kepada Mr & Mrs Goneng sekeluarga.

Kak Teh said...

Lydia, thanks for the wonderful news! In fact I saw the list at Amir's blog and somehow it escaped me that it was in the top ten at MPH. Now it is beginning to sink in. Must get some tips from you on publicity!!

Ruby, thanks to Taufiq, my AG's hair is very short! so, no Omar Sharif or George Cloony but more like Kojak!

Honeytar, memanglah betul kata -kata satu tangan menghayun buai , satu tangan menggoncang dunia...dan masih lagi dapat berblog - itulah dinamakan isteri, kan? Ish ish ish....Thanks - this trip back - the nasi padang is already on the agenda.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Kak Teh
Salam to Awang Goneng.
I havent gone to the bookstore to check out GUIT. Will do it soon.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

dearest kak teh, salam.. am one of d silent reader of your blog.. dis time i decided to say salam.. er.. how come i couldn't get GUIT kat jb? infact the other day i went to mph here, after browsing & x jumpa, i asked the salesgirl, she said "hm.. x pernah dengar pun??". aiyoh.. n it's MPH 10 top list!! hish.. nak kena budak ni!!


Kak Teh said...

fauziah, Insyaallah - and do look out for the book.

anon in JB, Ya, I have been getting a lot of reports from friends that they couldnt find the book. I have spoken to the publisher who is sending more to his distributor in KL. Hopefully you will get a copy and thanks for the support.

nurulazreenazlan said...

salam kak teh,

saya juga merupakan salah seorang pembaca hantu (silent reader, well maybe i should've said pembaca senyap but pembaca hantu sounds more fun, hehe) blog ini.

tahniah kepada impersonator of awan goneng untuk penerbitan buku ini.

how can i get a copy? i'd love to meet you and buy a copy straightaway but unfortunately i just finished my studies and am very broke right now (please advice your children not to take architecture unless your wallet is bottomless). am looking for a job and insya allah would be able to afford the book maybe in january. i was just wondering if you still have some copies in your possession.

yeah, there i go again telling strangers my life story.


ManaL said...

A book is a form of immortalizing our thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc. And selling them not only gain us royalty income but also sharing our experience/stories with the public...

Carry on publicising it, kak teh....the more the merrier!!!!

I'll wait for some "invitation" if ever there'll be some book launching here in KL. Semalam saya dah pi beli buku kak farah jamsari and signed by her too.

LifeBloom said...

K Teh you had me in stitches with your "flogging" antics..Boleh bayangkan K Teh pakai trenchcoat with copies of GUIT roaming the streets of London....heh heh..

Am going to get my copy after I am done with my Annual Report deadlines....Lepas tu duduk depan beach (preferably Redang), with a tall mug of steaming hot kopi hangtuah and stacks of Hwa Tai cream crackers....

Anonymous said...

I was in MPH JB recently and could not find the book too. Kat Popular pun takde..tapi kat Sg belum sempat tengok...insyaallah..nanti cari.

Btw, I passed something via 'E' for you...

Kak Teh said...

norazleenazalan, my daughter once hinted nak jadi arkitek, tapi kak teh ingat mungkin dia tak tahan bertahun-tahun di uni and also all those hard work.
where are you? I might be getting some supplies soon.

manal, the book means so much to me and especially the children. It is an insight into their father's world - one they didnt know before. launch in kl? aarghhh even we dont know when yet.

Kak Teh said...

Lifebloom, let me know if you cant get the copies from the shops -i know where you can find them. hehe -I went to a raya open house carrying five books - the rest is history!hissssh, sungguh memalukan!

norabella, i think you have a better chance to get the book in singapore kut! - and thanks in advance for the soemthing you kirim thru E.

nurulazreenazlan said...

i live in whitechapel.

do keep me posted!

Kak Teh said...

send me an email -

Kak Teh said...

send me an email -

Hi&Lo said...

Aunty Choc @ Mrs Goneng,

You and Tuan Goneng really a pair.

"In days of old
men were bold and dashful
Women were shy and bashful.

But today things ain't the same (I forgot the rest)...

GUIT not available in KK yet. Already placed order with Times local branch.

Your will be back in Malaysia, soon? Panjang umur, i will get a chance to pump your hand. hehehe, (get the hint where i got the idea of pumping hands and kissing babies).

Mior Azhar said...

Kak Teh,
Read your article in Berita Harian today with the same pix lagi. For some strange reasons, I rasa bangga ya amat2. Memang proud sesangat. Congratulations to AG.
Last week I went to MPH Subang Parade nak cari GUIT tapi tak dak pun. Aih, kena pi Mid Valley punya MPH kot, besaq sikit mesti ada kan.

Kak Teh said...

Hi & Lo

"In days of old
men were bold and dashful
Women were shy and bashful.

may I add:
" but these days,
wives are thickskinned
and forceful,
.....aaaah, how awful!

hahaah! anyway, thanks for the support. I hope you get your copy.

Mior, kak teh pun turut terharu kerana ramai yang rasa bangga terhadap penghasilan buku ini. Ya, nampaknya kak tehlah yang terpaksa menulis - seobjective mungkin - mengenai majlis dan juga buku itu.
I will take note of all the bokstores that do not have the books yet...and let the publisher/distributer know.
Terima kasih

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,
I finally bought the book today!

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh
Saw the lovely pix at Mamoo. Wow, Booker Prize Nominee graced the ocassion. Trust the launch here will be crowded with all the SasteraWans (he he).
Must say KI looks youngish and CEO-like, quite unlike me who is grey and tired. Is it because there are so many things to worry about here? Adoi ...

Kak Teh said...

anon @3.59 - you did? thanks but from which store? Enjoy the book.

aMiR, yes, the booker prize nominee was there - nice of him to turn up. and KI? what can I say...I bumped into him at the Takaful International conference - if you think he looked like a CEO at our do - you shd see him at the conference - hah! macam tycoon! Did you see the pix of him sleeping?

ays_as said...

salam kak teh...

whats the arrangement if i want to get this book ek.. if possible signed by Mr AG.. :D

p/s: postage semua i will pay :)

Kak Teh said...

ays_as, hantar email pada kak teh - ada email address kan? kalau tidak telefon. You still have my number, kan? Thanks.

svllee said...

Hello Kak, congrats to you and your hubby, I will also want to get a copy, now that I am back! Catch up soon!

Kak Teh said...

svlee, congratulations for yr book as well. aaaah yr book is too expensive for me...ours is kacang putih saja.

svllee said...

We can of course trade! Our costs are very high unfortunately for picture books, alas..!

Kak Teh said...

svlee, can! can!

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh
I really tabik spring if you actually did GUIT book promotion at the Takaful International Conference, but did you?
Yes saw the Putera Beradu pix, just hope he didn't snore. Most likely will be spending Divali in Penang, and hope I can acquire GUIT there, at long last. Alor Setar, SP and Jitra are hopeless as far as books (and other things) are concerned. Adoi ...

Bergen said...

Buying a dozen of the book as presents to all the friends I know. I don't have that many friends though but I reckon a dozen is about right. I'll make more friends at the uni and buy a dozen more.

Way to go, ma'am. You are a born salesperson.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,

Dah beli 2! Satu untuk saya, satu untuk kawan...

Will start cracking on it soon. Can hardly wait.

Faten Rafie said...

kak teh,

congratulation to encik AG & you on the 'birth' of your latest 'baby'.

btw, your niece Liza was over at our place during Raya, I recognized her in one of the photos here, so I asked her and she said, oh another of kakteh's fan! Her new baby is so beautiful, oh those long lashes.

Kak Teh said...

aMiR, I didnt actually promote it there. Just went to meet up with a friend and sort of said, by the way....
Anyway,i was told that more copies are arriving from the publishers and I hope they are evenly distributed.

Kak Teh said...

bergen, wow, a dozen books!! That will ensure our cats are fed for a while. Thanks. I hope you and your friends will enjoy GUIT.

elviza - dah beli dua?? Thanks. Som,e people cant even get a copy. Did you book yours?

athene, you know my niece? we called he Oli and at first I couldnt tell who you are refering to. Are you living up north?

Faten Rafie said...

yup, I'm up north, Penang :) Her house is like 20 minutes away from mine. When she was over, she said she just got back from visiting your mom in KL.

she really knocked us off our socks with the new baby, we thought we had a baby to show off, then she turns up with that gorgeous thing!

Faten Rafie said...

btw, kakteh, kalau nak signed copy yg siap dgn yours and them kitties paw prints berapa, upahnyer? :)

Anonymous said...

Hi K.Zaharah,

Too bad I had to miss the happening event! Looks like it went well though.

Looking forward to owning a copy. One must have access to that inspiring mind of Awang Goneng:-)


Kak Teh said...

athene, what a small world!! and as for otograpf sekali dengan paw prints tu...ish ish, bisa diatur!

Ida, looks like you are missing on most things now that you have moved away. How about Napoli this year and Liverpool next year? Le me know when u are in town next.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

Semalam pi Pofular and a brand-new bookstore in @mcorpM@ll, tak de pulak buku GUIT (pi cari kat bookstores of THAT Mall, memangla tak jumpa, kan. heh2).

anyway, need to learn how to tebalkan muka like you do. Tabik la, kakteh!

Nevertheless, on the contrary, tis not so easy nak mudah-mudah suka-suka promote a purdy controversial book like my husband's, dak...? or at least THAT'S the lame excuse I'm using ;-P.

Kak Teh said...

Roti kacang merah, the books are outr of stock and according to the publishers more are on their way to the distributor and then to the shops. Well, being so far away, we can only reply on these reports. But I am encouraged that some managed to get their copies.
I think, I am able to hawk the book because I am here - and I do meet many people in the course of my work. I only approach people I know well. And the people I mentioned in the entry are people I do know and who also know my husband and his writings. Otherwise I will have a difficult time doing my marketing.
Good luck to you too with your husband's book. Will look out for it when we are back home.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh
In Penang now. Bought GUIT at MPH Gurney Plaza. Couldn't find it initially. Checked with the Customer Service Manager. He's so on the beat .. he typed Growing up in Trengganu, and yes they have a few copies ... on the Hot & New shelf. Immediately after the purchase, I went to Kopitiam Cheong Ho downstairs while the other family members loitered around the shopping and entertainment complex. Immersed myself in GUIT totally. Before I could finish my cup of Kopi Susu, a few tears were shed. Didn't want to create a scene, and so I left the cafe, and we then proceeded to Teluk Bahang. Found a picnic spot, and flipped pages after pages of GUIT. Oh Mrs. AG, it is impossibly romantic .. just like Penang. The only snag is it hasn't got an index at the back. I'm curious to know more about lompat tikam.

Kak Teh said...

aMiR, aaah, good news! and so early in the morning too. I am glad that you found the book in Penang and on the HOT and New shelf pulak tu! and your description of Penang, the kopitiam etc really brought me back to those good old days in Penang, except that now Penang holds a grim memory of a friend - lawyer friend who was brutally stabbed just before Deepavali.
And hmmmm, there is a glossary at the back of the book. Do check.
pg 327 lompat tikam (Lit. jump and stab). A soft and sticky Trengganu cake with a name that hard to fathom.

Umran Kadir said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Though we don't know each other a mutual friend suggested that I should let you know about a rally taking place outside the Malaysian Students Department tomorrow (Nov 10) at 2 p.m. The rally is in support of BERSIH and free and fair elections.

Here is a link to a letter concerning the event:

Have no political affiliations myself...just a Malaysian who is fed up of all the stories of 'phantom voters'. Hope to see you there.

P.S. Have seen your husband at some events in London (I think the last event was the visit by Karim Raslan). Unfortunately I never manage to catch him before he leaves!

I actually half suspect we have met before at someone's open house in London some years ago!

In any case, hope to see you both at the rally tomorrow.

Kak Teh said...

Umran, thanks for the invitation and also the info. I'm afraid I will be leaving very early for Manchester on that day and arriving back quite late.

Faten Rafie said...

insat cheq nak pi cari kat MPH gurney... hope they still have at least a copy for me! kat mphonline dah habih!

Kak Teh said...

athene, pi cepat chek oi! aMiR kata di sana ada lagi. Sat ni dah beli habark mai, no!

Umran Kadir said...

Have a safe trip to Manchester.

Kak Teh said...

umran, I miscalculated!! sorry - my trip to Manchester is Sunday -and I thought Sunday was 10th!! Too many things happening.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,

Arena ada ckp pada my father that Encik AG dah publish buku. He asked me to get the book for him. Insyallah I'll get one for me and 1 for my dad. He sends he regards to both of you.


Kak Teh said...

arena, thanks - and salam to your dad too. I hope he will enjoy the book.

Anonymous said...

at MPH Putrajaya. The last and only copy.

I also read its review in Berita Harian today.

with love,
anonymous @3.59 (Aini)

Kak Teh said...

thanks aini, i just read Berita harian online as well. Thanks for alerting us.

Anonymous said...

Copies available at MPH,One Utama, Bandar Utama.

Kak Teh said...

anon 6.26 - thank you. That's very kind of you.

the indie story said...

(foto-foto azmin ali berkempen di Hulu Kelang 2 malam lepas)

the indie story said...

Dengan Izin Tuan Punya Blog:




paikia said...

hi kak teh

May i know who is Christoper gallop? And do you know his wife?

paikia said...

Hai kak Teh

Do you know Christoher Gallop? and also do you klnow his wife, Mrs Gallop?

Kak Teh said...

yes, I do know them - parents of a good friend of mine.