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View Poll Results: Multiple Choice - Which region should we use for nominations this month?
The South Pacific 3 30.00%
Southeast Asia 4 40.00%
Japan 4 40.00%
The Korean Peninsula, Mongolia & China 1 10.00%
South Asia 2 20.00%
Sub Saharan Africa 3 30.00%
Southeast Europe 1 10.00%
Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain & France 4 40.00%
North & Central Europe 3 30.00%
Ireland & The U.K. 3 30.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-02-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
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Region Nominations • November 2014

(Oops! I was out at a party til the wee hours on All Hallows' Eve when I would usually prepare this and then just didn't think about it yesterday. If it ever happens again anyone can feel free to PM to help remind me. )


Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for November 2014!


The category for this month is:

Region
Southeast Asia, as chosen in the poll and tie-breaker


This month is a two-part process:

The first part begins with a one-day poll to determine the region we will use. It is multiple choice and you may choose as many options as you like when voting. This voting is separate from your nominations. There are no nominations during the poll, only voting. I will not vote in the poll, and if there is a tie, I will break it.

As soon as the poll is over and the region is determined, then the second part (nominations) starts and you can begin nominating like normal. This will run for four days until 7th November.

Nominations can be set in any region, but they should be written by an author from that region.





Notes:

-Regions are named in the poll and colour-coded on the map. Region names are generalities and not exact.

-If a country or territory is too small to show regional colour on the map, it will be part of the region closest to it physically and culturally. If you are unsure, just ask.

-I had help from issybird making the regions list that was much appreciated.

-Previously chosen regions currently ineligible:
Latin America
Central Asia, East Europe & Russia
Canada & the U.S.A.
North Africa & The Middle East


Once the poll is over and nominations begin:

In order for a work to be included in the poll it needs four nominations - the original nomination plus three supporting.

Each participant has four nominations to use. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third or fourth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.

To nominate a work just post a message with your nomination. If you are the first to nominate a work, it's always nice to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.


What is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!


The floor is now open!

*

Nominations are now closed. Final nominations:


In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, Cambodia - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- Bookpossum, desertblues, ccowie, issybird


From Goodreads:

For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.

Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.

Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.


This is a novel but based on the author's experiences. Rated 4.04 stars on Goodreads.


Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal, The Philippines - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- issybird, Bookpossum, desertblues, fantasyfan


AKA Touch Me Not
AKA The Social Cancer


This from Goodreads, where it has a rating of 4.16 stars:

In more than a century since its appearance, José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere has become widely known as the great novel of the Philippines. A passionate love story set against the ugly political backdrop of repression, torture, and murder, "The Noli," as it is called in the Philippines, was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province.


Bookpossum did a search and found it in Project Gutenberg in various languages, including an English version called The Social Cancer - A Complete English version of Noli Me Tangere.


The Stones Cry Out: A Cambodian Childhood, 1975-1980 by Molyda Szymusiak, Cambodia - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- paola, Bookpossum, issybird, Bookworm_Girl


In 1975, Molyda Szymusiak (her adoptive name), the daughter of a high Cambodian official, was twelve years old and leading a relatively peaceful life in Phnom Penh. Suddenly, on April 17, Khmer Rouge radicals seized the capital and drove all its inhabitants into the countryside. The chaos that followed has been widely publicized, most notably in the movie The Killing Fields. Murderous brutality coupled with raging famine caused the death of more than two million people, nearly a third of the population. This powerful memoir documents the horror Cambodians experienced in daily life.


From paola:

The reason I nominate this book is that I was struck by this comment (by Stephen Haggard) in the London Review of Books:

"The stones cry out is a book of extraordinary power which resists the tools of analysis. It is the thing itself. The narrative can only outline again and again the palpable framework of her experiences – rice (planted, eaten or lacked), the family, the body and its illnesses – until these become the only structures in which the mind (and the book) can find units of signification. Pitted against these are their opposites: words (the propaganda of the daily ‘education sessions’), the commune which displaces the family, and the dismembered body – a frequent sight."

only problem is, I could not find an electronic version for it - so that is a problem.


Novel without a Name by Duong Thu Huong, Vietnam - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- issybird, Bookpossum, caleb72, Billi

From Goodreads:

A piercing, unforgettable tale of the horror and spiritual weariness of war, Novel Without a Name will shatter every preconception Americans have about what happened in the jungles of Vietnam. With Duong Thu Huong, whose Paradise of the Blind was published to high critical acclaim in 1993, Vietnam has found a voice both lyrical and stark, powerful enough to capture the conflict that left millions dead and spiritually destroyed her generation. Banned in the author's native country for its scathing dissection of the day-to-day realities of life for the Vietnamese during the final years of the "Vietnam War, " Novel Without a Name invites comparison with All Quiet on the Western Front and other classic works of war fiction. The war is seen through the eyes of Quan, a North Vietnamese bo doi (soldier of the people) who joined the army at eighteen, full of idealism and love for the Communist party and its cause of national liberation. But ten years later, after leading his platoon through almost a decade of unimaginable horror and deprivation, Quan is disillusioned by his odyssey of loss and struggle. Furloughed back to his village in search of a fellow soldier, Quan undertakes a harrowing, solitary journey through the tortuous jungles of central Vietnam and his own unspeakable memories.


Also no eBook


The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirati, Indonesia - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- HomeInMyShoes, Billi, Bookworm_Girl, sun surfer


A very fun read.


From Goodreads:

Originally written in Bahasa, The Rainbow Troops was first published in 2005 and sold a record-breaking five million copies in Indonesia. The novel tells the inspiring and closely autobiographical tale of the trials and tribulations that the ten motley students (nicknamed the Rainbow Troops) and two teachers from Muhammadiyah Elementary School on Belitong Island, Indonesia, undergo to ensure the continuation of the children’ s education. The poverty-stricken school suffers the constant threat of closure by government officials, greedy corporations, natural disasters and the students’ own lack of self-confidence. The story is written from the perspective of Ikal, who is six years old when the novel opens. Just as the author himself did as a young man, Ikal goes to college and eventually wins a scholarship to go abroad, beating incredible odds to become a writer.

This delightful, inspiring book has a fable-like quality that reminds us why we love stories— heartwarming stories, funny stories, stories that remind us of the precious things in life. Ikal and his band of plucky cohorts face obstacles large and small, and the reader can’ t help but root for them to beat the odds and get the education— and life— they deserve. The setting is as compelling and memorable as the characters, and a rare window into a world we know little about.

The Rainbow Troops is the first of a tetralogy of novels that have all become bestsellers in Indonesia. It was adapted for the screen and shown at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009.


The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam by Bảo Ninh, Vietnam - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- caleb72, Billi, Hamlet53, sun surfer


Bao Ninh, a former North Vietnamese soldier, provides a strikingly honest look at how the Vietnam War forever changed his life, his country, and the people who live there. Originaly published against government wishes in Vietnam because of its nonheroic, non-ideological tone, The Sorrow of War has won worldwide acclaim and become an international bestseller


It won the following:
Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (1994)
Sách Hay (2011)
Giải Thưởng Hội Nhà Văn Việt Nam (1991)
Nikkei Asia Prizes (2011)


Four Reigns by Kukrit Pramoj, Thailand - 3
Spoiler:
In favour- sun surfer, HomeInMyShoes, desertblues


Though not so well known in the West, this book is very famous in Thailand and is considered as a major classic there.


From Goodreads:

This English version of the Thai novel Si Phaendin tells the rich and entertaining story of one woman's life both inside and outside the royal palace in Bangkok. Spanning a period of four reigns, from King Chulalongkorn to the reign of his grandson King Ananda, this popular modern classic gives insight into the social and political issues facing Thailand from the 1890s through the turbulent years of World War II. "Kukrit, famous as a journalist, wit, connoisseur of the arts, and, for much of his life, a politician, and once the prime minister. . . is also a world-class writer, equipped with imagination, humor, narrative skill, and keen understanding of human nature."--The New York Review of Books


Here is some more info on it (careful, I didn't read it all, though it may just be historical info it seems like there may be some book spoilers): Four Reigns - a literary masterpiece

And here's a blog post about it: Bangkok - Kukrit Pramote & Four Reigns

Rated 4.11 on Goodreads.

Last edited by sun surfer; 11-07-2014 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:51 PM   #2
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Ahem.......I was about to inquire in the forum whether I had missed an anouncement proclaiming a two- monthly nomination in the Literary Bookclub .....
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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Ahem.......I was about to inquire in the forum whether I had missed an anouncement proclaiming a two- monthly nomination in the Literary Bookclub .....
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #4
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Golly - a three-way tie!
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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We have a tie between:

-Southeast Asia
-Japan
-Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain & France

Per the guidelines, I don't vote in the poll so that I can break a tie if necessary. It's a tough one as they all sound interesting, but I'll vote for Southeast Asia and so it is our region for the month.

The nominations are now open!
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:08 PM   #6
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I'd like to nominate, from the Philippines, Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal.

This from Goodreads, where it has a rating of 4.16 stars:

Quote:
In more than a century since its appearance, José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere has become widely known as the great novel of the Philippines. A passionate love story set against the ugly political backdrop of repression, torture, and murder, "The Noli," as it is called in the Philippines, was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:42 AM   #7
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Sounds interesting and I second it.

I did a search and found it in Project Gutenberg in various languages, including an English version called The Social Cancer - A Complete English version of Noli Me Tangere.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:00 AM   #8
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I would like to nominate In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. From Goodreads:

Quote:
For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.

Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.

Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
This is a novel but based on the author's experiences. Rated 4.04 stars on Goodreads.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:26 AM   #9
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I second Noli me tangere and In the shadow of the Banyan.

I nominate the great epic, the Mahabharata. ................edit: I take the nomination back.........not from an author of South East Asia.........

Last edited by desertblues; 11-05-2014 at 02:19 AM. Reason: inelegible nomination.....
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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I'll third In the Shadow of the Banyan.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #11
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Ummm...so what region are we in? Philippines is in purple and India is in a ruddy brown kind of colour.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #12
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Purple. Cambodia's purple, too.

I'll fourth In the Shadow of the Banyan.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:22 PM   #13
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Yep, this region includes Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Timor L'este, Malaysia...that area.

This region doesn't include nearby countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Bhutan (all in the same region as India) or Taiwan (in the same region as China).

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertblues View Post
...I nominate the great epic, the Mahabharata. This Indian epic is known and culturally very important in all of South East Asia...

...edit: although Indian from origine, this epic has been woven in the cultures of South East Asia for many, many centuries and is indeed a fundamental part of their culture.
Great nomination but I don't think it's eligible and so you get a nomination back. It may be important in Southeast Asia but it originated in India. We haven't had that region yet so it will be upcoming at some point.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:24 PM   #14
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Yes, I would like clarification on this one. My interpretation was that the nomination should be both about the region and by someone from that region. So even though the Mahabharata was of great importance in much of South East Asia, it would count as South Asia because it emanates from India.

By the same token, a book by, say, Somerset Maugham set in SE Asia would not qualify because although he lived there and knew the area, he was not from one of those countries.

Sun surfer, is it worth including something about this in the "blurb" so we are all clear?

ETA: Sorry - I was writing this when sun surfer put up his response.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Yes, I would like clarification on this one. My interpretation was that the nomination should be both about the region and by someone from that region.
You've got it half right. The nomination should be by someone from that region but can be set in any region.

Here's the guideline in the first post: "Nominations can be set in any region, but they should be written by an author from that region."

Quote:
So even though the Mahabharata was of great importance in much of South East Asia, it would count as South Asia because it emanates from India.

By the same token, a book by, say, Somerset Maugham set in SE Asia would not qualify because although he lived there and knew the area, he was not from one of those countries.
Yes and yes, although I hesitate to bring up that in an earlier vote the majority decided Nabokov qualified as from North America, so your Maugham example as worded might be less certain.

Quote:
Sun surfer, is it worth including something about this in the "blurb" so we are all clear?
It already is!

Last edited by sun surfer; 11-04-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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