After Kebaya Tales and Sarong Secrets comes a rich, gutsy collection of short stories immersing the reader into the vivid, multi-hued world of the Peranakans. Here, the babas take centre stage: masculine perspectives, voices and protagonists are put under the spotlight, even as fiery and headstrong heroines pursue their passions in the face of powerful obstacles. The cast of characters seek to forge individual identities within a unique cultural heritage facing the challenges of modern times.
The stories are accented with photographs peppered throughout – of exquisite beadwork, bejewelled adornments, vintage fabrics, gilded artefacts from private collections, personal belongings of the babas, and of course, twinkling, manek-encrusted accessories.
In Manek Mischiefs, Lee Su Kim captures diverse aspects of the Baba Nyonya culture with gentle humour and a sharp eye. Her talent for voice and dialogue will have you chuckling even as your heart is breaking for her characters, whom she treats with unfailing sensitivity and generosity. These stories are very obviously written by someone with a deep but nuanced love for the culture. Preeta Samarasan, Author of 'Evening is the Whole Day'
The eagerly awaited sequel to Kebaya Tales and Sarong Secrets is now here. Manek Mischiefs is another feast of intriguing tales based on the Peranakan community - family intrigue and rivalries, secrets of the bedroom, long-lost love re-discovered - all set against the rich fabric of this unique culture. Yet the cultural specificity also offers us universal themes to ponder. All as complex as the Manek beadwork of the title. Alan Maley, O.B.E., Author and language teaching professional.
This book is definitely a Must-Read for those who love the Peranakan culture or have a passion for reading. Her great sense of humour seasons the stories and the messages are delivered in such a witty way! Udaya Halim, President of Peranakan Indonesia PERTIWI and Founder of Benteng Heritage Museum, The first Peranakan Museum in Tangerang, Indonesia