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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Of Prostitution - Wuya by Jiu Dan, and Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho 
Pick Yin churns book reviews out like magic. Me, I hardly have time to trim my nails. ;) Here's her take on Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes:
Eleven Minutes is a result of Paulo Coelho's chance reading of a manuscript left for him by a Brazilian prostitute while he was lecturing in Mantua, Italy. He then proceeded with his own research and eventually interviewed Maria (nom de guerre), whose story this book is based on.

[...]

Eleven Minutes talks about prostitution from the point of view of a woman who chose to be in it not because she like to do what is expected of her but because she could not find a good reason not to for she thought had lost all her chances of finding happiness in life. [More here]
I haven't heard of that book, but it sounds something like the Singaporean book on Chinese student prostitution - Wuya, by Jiu Dan - equally interesting too, if with perhaps less a less sympathetic plot and none of its mysterious origins - Wuya was an entirely kiss-and-tell novel exposing the double lives of China-born students in Singapore.
The title was inspired by the sight of a flock of crows at a Singapore beach: The birds with a bad rep reminded her of people suffering the same handicap. [Source]
I flipped through it briefly some years back - the English translation sounded rather disjointed and abrupt - I'd reckon that the nuances and expressions were not imparted the way it was intended to be as in the original Mandarin version. I wouldn't call it a beautiful piece of writing - it was a honest, if rather shocking and controversial story - certainly an eye opener for an innocent 19 year old ;)

I read Wuya at a Popular bookstore three years ago, but I reckon should be now widely available at all leading bookstores in Malaysia.

graceshu  # 9:22 PM
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