Of Oysters, Pearls And Magic
on Aug. 04, 2011
Books can be seen as vehicles that carry readers to other worlds and cultures. If that book is Science Fiction or Fantasy they become jets to new worlds. Sometimes those worlds are known to you. Rarely there are books dealing with cultures new to the reader. In those rare books you read about new cultures, immerse in a new understanding.
Joyce Chng's novella Of Oysters, Pearls And Magic is such a book for me. Chng tells the story of Mirra the daughter of oyster-divers and pearl gatherers. She is the descendant of "first-wave immigrants from old Terra Firma" a protagonist with complex issues and fleshed out character. The man in her village has magic and women with magic is shunned. When she shows her magical abilities, Mirra has to leave her home and must go to an adventure. It is a sad but hopefull tale of a girl that searches her place in the world.
Joyce Chng uses an interesting technique to immerse readers into the world of Mirra. She puts songs and food recipies into the book. Chng's Asian heritage and her understanding of culture shines through the book. If you are bored of the same old Western stories, Joyce Chng's wind from East would be a great read.
You can read an interview with Joyce Chng here: http://turkcebkf.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/interview-with-joyce-chng/