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Grandma’s Gangsta Chicken Curry and Gangsta Stories from My Sixties

Azly Rahman
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In the following recollections, divided into several chapters, Azly Rahman presents a mixed-genre memoir-snippets of growing up in a world rooted in the pastoral-ness and ruralness of things. The world of his kampong or the Malay village. These are stories of separation – of a mind from the body. Of the body from consciousness. Of spiritual consciousness from the reality of things. In these lie the author’s story – of separation from his tribe, so to speak. Of culture, its constructions, and complexities. The strange and the familiar has become me. Of the anthropology of the self, globalized in all its absurdities. The central theme is “growing up gangsta” in a Malay village that offered the realism and the supernaturalism of things, seen through the lens of a boy in his early teens.
Through the shifting of the narration of the here and then, through poems, rapping verses, and ethnographic notes, he makes the stories accessible to readers of the English-speaking world, primarily in the Unites States where the authors now resides and teaches. It is a story of “boy meeting the strange part of his Malay world” yet rooted in his mother’s love as an inner guide, and sanity.

Published: Apr/2021

ISBN: 9789814882118

Length: 272 Pages

Grandma’s Gangsta Chicken Curry and Gangsta Stories from My Sixties

Azly Rahman

In the following recollections, divided into several chapters, Azly Rahman presents a mixed-genre memoir-snippets of growing up in a world rooted in the pastoral-ness and ruralness of things. The world of his kampong or the Malay village. These are stories of separation – of a mind from the body. Of the body from consciousness. Of spiritual consciousness from the reality of things. In these lie the author’s story – of separation from his tribe, so to speak. Of culture, its constructions, and complexities. The strange and the familiar has become me. Of the anthropology of the self, globalized in all its absurdities. The central theme is “growing up gangsta” in a Malay village that offered the realism and the supernaturalism of things, seen through the lens of a boy in his early teens.
Through the shifting of the narration of the here and then, through poems, rapping verses, and ethnographic notes, he makes the stories accessible to readers of the English-speaking world, primarily in the Unites States where the authors now resides and teaches. It is a story of “boy meeting the strange part of his Malay world” yet rooted in his mother’s love as an inner guide, and sanity.

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Azly Rahman

Dr Azly Rahman grew up in a Malay village in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and holds a doctorate from Columbia University (New York City) in international education development as well as master’s degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies, communication, creative non-fiction/memoir writing, and fiction. He has written more than 400 analyses and essays on Malaysia. His thirty years of teaching experience in Malaysia and the United States span a wide range of subjects, from elementary to graduate education. He has edited and authored eight books: Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present, Future (2009); Thesis on Cyberjaya: Hegemony and Utopianism in a Southeast Asian State (2012); The Allah Controversy and Other Essays on Malaysian Hypermodernity (2013); Dark Spring: Essays on the Ideological Roots of Malaysia's General Elections-13 (2013); a first Malay publication, Kalimah Allah Milik Siapa?: Renungan dan Nukilan Tentang Malaysia di Era Pancaroba (2014); Controlled Chaos: Essays on Mahathirism, Multimedia Super Corridor and Malaysia’s ‘New Politics’ (2014); One Nation Under God, Bipolar (2015); and High Hopes to Shattered Dreams: Second Mahathirist Revolution (2020). He currently resides in the United States where he teaches courses in psychology, world history, education, cultural studies, global issues, economics, language, and American studies. He is currently completing his tenth book on gifted and talented education, honoring a prominent educator. This memoir grew out of his MFA thesis in Creative Non-Fiction written at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, USA.