What ZakariaAli says on Sembang Sastera
” The former editor of a publishing house, A.F.Yassin, recently put out Sembang Sastera: Bersama Orang Persuratan (Fajar Bakti, 1998,310 pages), in which he talks to 64 Malay writers and literary activists of varying stature, who muse on their lives and what they have been up to. Chatty. Frank, nostalgic, irreverent, these conversations are light, in response to A.F.Yassin’s equally casual probing. His target is largely a small and shrinking group of people aged around 60 and above, loyal supporters of the Jawi-scripted Utusan Zaman, in which most of these Sembang-Sembang first appeared.
“Now that these Sembang-Sembang have been romanised, and packed in a handsome hardcover book, more readers , especially literary researchers, local and foreign, can be expected to benefit from them. Of course, the information ranges from the revealing to the trivial, but the book is pertinent as it provides insight on what went on in the world of Malay letters.
“…Sembang Satera is invaluable, especially to students of contemporary Malay literature, because it provides a cauldron of tidbits, with which to spice up the perennially long-overdue assignment.” – (Zakaria Ali, “Notes on Local Literature, fortnightly with Zakaria Ali, New Straits Times, 27 January, 1999.”
- What Nst Columnist Zakaria Ali Says on “Sembang Sastera”.. (afyassin.wordpress.com)