The making of Sini Sana: reflections of a travel book editor

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review


Two years ago I had the honour of co-editing the first ever anthology of travel stories about Malaysia. If we take Derek Neale’s definition of travel writing as ‘a form of autobiographical writing which is ostensibly focused on place’, then Sini Sana scores highly, even if I say so myself!
Reading the book is like watching a cinematic tracking shot across Malaysia’s nature and culture. In a hair-raising piece entitled ‘Storming Gunung Tahan’, Lee Yu Kit treks up Malaysia’s toughest mountain and into a colossal storm. In ‘Ladies of the Longhouse’, Polly Szantor whisks us off to the remote village of Pa’Umor for ethnographic insight into one of the smallest tribes on Borneo. Marc White’s ‘Lessons at the Night Market’ lingers on the gastronomic pleasures of OUG. I challenge anyone not to feel hungry reading it, although be warned: the story ends on a cautionary note. When Zhang Su Li encounters an old Chinese woman in ‘Postcards from All Over the World’, we stop moving through space and start moving back through time to World War II and the resistance movement.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Specialist publicationThe Expat
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


  • Asia-Pacific
  • travel writing
  • Asia
  • memoir


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