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Friday June 13, 2008

Writer compiles poems and artworks in new book

KHADIJAH Hashim, famous for her numerous novels, radio scripts, and countless Malay poetry has come out with yet another book that combines her collection of published poetry and artworks.

The book, Dua Dimensi Khadijah Hashim (Two Dimen-sions of Khadijah Hashim), features 106 poems authored by Khadijah that were published in various local and overseas publications.

It also contains 62 art pieces that she hand-painted using mainly Chinese ink brush, watercolour, and pastel.

Passionate: Khadijah reading some of the poems from her new book called 'Dua Dimensi Khadijah Hashim'.

“The poems, touching on nature and social issues, were written from 2001 to early 2008,” said Khadijah, who hails from Batu Pahat.

“For the artworks, I actually learnt Chinese ink brush painting for about two years at the KL Chin Woo Club.

“There was a language barrier as my teacher wasn't too fluent in Malay.

“But I observed the brush techniques and immediately took an interest in it. And so I signed up for class on the first day itself!” she recalled.

Khadijah continued dabbling in Chinese ink brush painting even till today, and paints mostly scenery, nature and flowers – her favourite subjects.

Colourful: One of Khadijah’s pretty floral paintings.

The finished paintings are then put up on the walls of her home for sale.

“I do not have my own art gallery; my home is like my gallery.

“Sometimes if friends like any painting, they just buy it on the spot,” she said,

On the book, she said it was done coffeetable book-style which allowed her share her writing and art talents with people.

Previously a journalist with Utusan Melayu for two years and Berita Harian for nine years, Khadijah said her writing experience has spanned some 30 years.

“I've always liked reading since young, and after a while, I thought to myself that I could write, too, like the authors.

“And so I started writing novels and children’s books. Writing is a form of therapy for me,” she said.

Favourite piece: Khadijah's own painted piece of work based on a scenery she saw while travelling from Paris to Brussels, which she says is not for sale.

Among Khadijah’s accolades and credits over the years were being awarded the S.E.A Write Award in 1999, her poetry book Sayang Anakku Sayang was nominated at the International Board on Books for Young People in Basel, Switzerland, and her book called Semerbak Puisi, a compilation of children's poems, was nominated in 2006 in Macau.

Several of her novels and short stories have also been adapted into TV dramas, like Mawar Merah di Jambangan and Sekapur Sirih Segeluk Air.

Her novel Exiled (which had been translated from her Malay original entitled Di Ruangmu Aku Di Sini) was also nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Literature International award in 1997.

“I've always believed in the importance of reading to be able to write well.

“The power of language can elicit various emotions such as laughter, sadness and anger,” she said.

She opined that Malaysians should inculcate the habit of reading in whatever spare time they have, like in trains or while waiting in clinics.

“Seeing my works in print is more than just personal fulfilment.

“This, I feel, is something beneficial for the community, too,” she said.

The book is available in hard cover and priced at RM49.

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