Thursday, 17 November 2011

Leyla or Karmila?

I have just finished reading my latest book last night. It is a Malay novel titled `Lentera Cinta Albaicin', written by a local writer who's new to the literary scene.

I don't read buku cerita Melayu that much, let alone romance novels, so there must be a very particular reason why I read this book... but I'll get to that point a little later. Of the three words that make the title of this novel, I only knew the one in the middle. I had to look up what the other two meant... very humbling indeed.

Lentera is the Malay name for a lamp or lantern with an external casing of glass or glass windows. Albaicin is a district in the city of Granada, Spain. Also spelled Albaizin, this place is the old Arab-Moorish quarter of the historical city that is more well-known for the beautiful palace of Alhambra.

The novel tells the story of a young man from the small town of Mersing in Johor, who decides to travel to faraway Europe to help his friend of Arab-Morrocan descent whom he met while studying at UIA, set up an Islamic pre-school in Albaicin, Granada. He lives with his friend's family and gets to know the other relatives and also the friendly local Muslim community. But life as a Muslim in a Christian country is not without its challenges. The book tells the story of these challenges and how the young man tries his best to overcome them using the knowledge he has gained from his education and religious upbringing. Along the way, he meets the beautiful Leyla Zulaikha... but at the same time is reminded of the sweet and shy Nur Karmila from his kampung.

The Alhambra Palace in Granada with a view of Albaicin in the background on the right.
Within the Alhambra compound...

It took me quite a while to finish reading this book, mainly because it is not the type of book that forms my area of reading interest. But finish it I did, and I needed to, because the author may soon be asking me of my opinion of it.

Lentera Cinta Albaicin is the debut novel from writer Mazny M.R. The author is my niece. She is the first novelist in the family. I am perhaps, the only other family member who has any literary or writing interest. I only write in blogs but my niece has already achieved her dream of having her first fiction effort out in print. Way to go, Mazny. Keep on writing...

Book title : Lentera Cinta Albaicin
Author : Mazny M.R.
Pages : 506
Genre : Novel Tarbiah Dewasa
Publisher : Galeri Ilmu Sdn Bhd

12 comments:

methos said...

so, how's the book?

Kak Teh said...

would love to read this novel..i dont usually read novels either. My daughter is gong back end of this month and will ask her to look for it. Is it sold in the main bookstores like MPH and Kino?

Wan Sharif said...

Yes..Way to go Mazny..
a tremendous start.. can ask Uncle Oldstock belanja teh to discuss his opinion, way forward etc.
I have a friend who settled in Spain after retirement, he said he love the life there.. he have plenty of money though ;)

Oldstock said...

Hi Tot, welcome to this blog.

So how's the book, you ask? Hmmm.... firstly, let me clarify that it is not about romance, despite its title. Well, at least that's not the main subject anyway. It is also not targeted at the teenage crowd but perhaps towards the young adult section of similar age of the book's main characters.

It contains a lot of quotes from the Al-quran and hadeeth, as applied to various situations that we face in everyday life. That's why the publishers have classified it as a `tarbiyah' novel. As I've siad, not quite what I am used to reading but I am sure it would appeal to certain quarters.

At least my niece can claim to be a novelist... which I can only do so in my dreams :-)

Oldstock said...

Kak Teh,

Not sure if you can get the book at MPH or Kino. We got our copy from Popular Book Store.

Oldstock said...

Ayoh Wang,

I last met my niece during raya haji a few weeks back. Hadn't finish reading the book yet at that time, so we didn't discuss about it.

Even so, I'm not sure if she would seek my views, because I'm not that good about writing in Malay. The only pointers I can give is on how to blog in style :-)

VersedAnggerik said...

Congratulations to your niece, on her debut as a writer!

I always feel that to write fiction, U must need a HUGE load of imagination, especially if it revolves around places overseas that U have not been to, or regarding lifestyles that U have not lived in.

I do not have that. Hence, the only thing I write is my ole blog!

Hehehe.....

Oldstock said...

Verse,

You and I are the same... we can consider ourselves as expert bloggers, hehe...

Mazny said...

Salam to everyone,

Aaawws, thank you my dear uncle, for such a lovely post. And yeah, would love to hear your comment. P.s - private email eh? Hehe...

Yup, it was a challenging book for me as I hv never set my foot on the Spanish soil. Surprisingly, one of my reader told me via email that he bought LCA and brought it to venture Albaicin. Alhamdulillah he found all the (islamic)historical places I mentioned in my novel. He even went to my friend's shop in Plaza Nueva!...

Yes, if you love an adventure-jihad-islamic love story, this might be your thing,lah. @Kak Teh (eermm, not sure to call you Kak lol)...Last time I checked - MPH, Kino & Popular have my book.
@Uncle Wan, thank you!=)
@Oldstock... never too old to write a story - eh, macam pernah dengar advise ni kan, kan, kan?...

~For those who hv bought my first novel, tyvm for the support~Pls wait for my 2nd one... come in a bollywood style*wink!*

Nurie said...

Congrats to your niece!
I dont read malay novels either but the story looks interesting not the typical cinta novel. I think if it is made into a drama, sure best!...esp with scenes from Al Hamra Granada...

Oldstock said...

Mazny,

If your next book becomes a bestseller, then I'll try save some money and we go visit Granada together.

You may have to wait for me to grow older to catch my first book...

Oldstock said...

Nurie,

I believe the story can be turned into a drama. Cuma kena modify the love interest sikit... bagi suspen lebih, hehe..