Author with books banned in Malaysia to open Asean literary fest

The award-winning author (right), whose real name is Mohd Faizal Musa but writes under the pseudonym Faisal Tehrani, has five novels and a play that are prohibited in Malaysia. ― Picture by Boo Su-Lyn
The award-winning author (right), whose real name is Mohd Faizal Musa but writes under the pseudonym Faisal Tehrani, has five novels and a play that are prohibited in Malaysia. ― Picture by Boo Su-Lyn

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Malaysian writer Faisal Tehrani, whose works are verboten here, will open and speak at the 4th Asean Literary Festival (ALF) in Indonesia next month.

The award-winning author, whose real name is Mohd Faizal Musa but writes under the pseudonym Faisal Tehrani, has five novels and a play that are prohibited in Malaysia.

The Asean Literary Festival's Facebook page described Faisal as "one of Malaysia's and Southeast Asia's important writers".

"Faisal will open the ALF and give a public lecture on democracy, freedom of expression and literature in Southeast Asia at the historic Fatahillah Square in Kota Tua," the festival co-founder and programme director Okky Madasari was quoted saying on Wednesday by Indonesian news site kompas.com.

According to Indonesian news outlet The Jakarta Post, Faisal will speak about his literary career.

Citing information from the ALF, it said Faisal was named 2002 Exxon Mobil Malaysian Literary Envoy for his novel 1515, which is used for the Malay Studies module at Germany's Cologne University. It said he won the 2005 National Book Prize in the Malay General Fiction category.

The Asean Literary Festival's Facebook page also noted that Faisal’s novels have won Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka awards since the 1990s and scored commercial and critical hits with his works.

The festival titled "Beyond Imagination" will take place in West Jakarta from August 3 until August 6.

In April 2015, the Home Ministry banned four of Faisal's works — novels Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang and Karbala, short story collection Kita Kali Seminggu, and poetry collection Ingin Jadi Nasrallah — for alleged religious deviancy.

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