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Ponti de Sharlene Teo (author)
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Ponti (edição: 2018)

de Sharlene Teo (author) (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1094198,522 (3.59)6
Remarkable' - Ian McEwan.2003, Singapore. Friendless and fatherless, sixteen-year-old Szu lives in the shadow of her mother Amisa, once a beautiful actress and now a hack medium performing séances with her sister in a rusty house. When Szu meets the privileged, acid-tongued Circe, an unlikely encounter develops into an intense friendship and offers Szu a means of escape from her mother's alarming solitariness.Seventeen years later, Circe is struggling through a divorce in fraught and ever-changing Singapore when a project comes up at work: a remake of the cult seventies horror film series 'Ponti', the very project that defined Amisa's short-lived film career. Suddenly Circe is knocked off balance: by memories of the two women she once knew, by guilt, and by a past that threatens her conscience.Told from the perspectives of all three women, Ponti is about friendship and memory, about the things we do when we're on the cusp of adulthood that haunt us years later. Beautifully written by debut author Sharlene Teo, and enormously atmospheric, Ponti marks the launch of an exciting new literary voice in the vein of Zadie Smith.… (mais)
Membro:reg_lt
Título:Ponti
Autores:Sharlene Teo (author) (Autor)
Informação:Picador (2018)
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:**
Etiquetas:country-singapore, stars-2-0, fiction

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Ponti de Sharlene Teo

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Exibindo 4 de 4
I couldn't help picking up this book especially since I knew Teo utilised the myth of the Pontianak. This figure terrorised the imagination of so many Malay children like me & we grow up to, in a sense, revere her. As women, we may even see her as the representation of brutalised female pain. Anyway basically I picked it up because I love the Pontianak (the myth of it & its significance, I don't want her to visit me, please), so central to the Malay community & other indigenous Southeast Asian countries.

The pontianak doesn't figure very strongly in the book in the end. She was invoked as a layer of characterization of Amisa, Szu's mother. The book clearly wants to deal with the monstrous feminine, as characterised by Amisa. A woman who leaves her family, is overtly sexual, incredibly ambitious, a terrible mother who doesn't seem to hold an iota of care to her husband & child; to anyone except her brother Didi & sister Yunxi.

I remember reading the first few pages of this chapter or so & feeling confused she got the myth of pontianak so wrong so early — she described the origins as a woman who sold her soul to the devil in order to be beautiful. That's not right at all, that sounds more like susuk. At around page 170 she does however describe the myth correctly. I wondered about this discrepency. I've since learned that she based the first explanation on the 1957 Pontianak movie which took great liberties to use Cik Pon's character but not her story. I can see how someone who watches the movie might think it was a folkloric account I guess. But since I learned that those iconic movies wre referenced, I realise that when she described the makeup in the dictional Ponti movies, it actually brought immediately to my mind those movies! And they were also in a trilogy. At another instance she describes the Malay villagers to be wearing "tengkoloks & baju melayus" which made my brain go ???? why so formal? After a lot of discussions with my other Malay friends I realise that Tengkolok is a style of folding the cloth, but it's also the name of the formal version worn by royalty & elites. The commoners in fact wear the tanjak, which was what she probably meant. In any case, these villagers, the Indonesian director, some mak ciks, & a couple of students (I can't remember now!) were the only Malay presence in the book. This book is ultimately about the intersecting lives of 3 women, so I understand if she won't go into detail or represent more Malay people, it's just that I guess I expected more since the book invokes such a central myth from the Malay community in Singapore. I also wonder if she consulted any Malay friends or people in the process of this book. We seem relegated to the background.

I remember when this book won the Deborah Rogers Award, central to its praise was how Teo was adept at describing Singapore's sticky heat in particular. The book is very much incredibly tactile & descriptive. A lot of evocative imagery. Unique, playful use of metaphors. You could feel, smell, the heat & imagine the sickening colours & rot of everything. I am disposed to writing like that so I enjoyed that. The description of schoolgirl drama too was very sharp, although I can't really relate to that kind of environment of a privileged girls school (the kind that insults by saying a girl is "nouveau riche"). Am glad I never went through such a terrifyingly elitist environment.

Ultimately it's novel that slowly circles around the really deep, slow pain of female relationships; between friends, between mother & daughter. The cruel ways in which they treat each other, dismiss each other's pain, & the ways in which we are left reeling with confusion when it happens. Like many others, I found the story to sag somewhere in the halfway point & it picked up somewhat at the end. I like the promise that Szu & Circe will meet again, to heal what happened in the past, although by the end I realise perhaps the story was not really about Amisa at all, but about Szu.
  verkur | Jan 8, 2021 |
Ponti is a very MFA-ish book, full of lovely description, visual detail, and memorable phrases, but chapters and chapters go on without anything much happening in them. The novel is narrated in turns by Amisa, a horror-movie hasbeen, her teenage daughter, Szu, and Szu’s school friend, Circe. The three women narrate different overlapping experiences, over many years, and the jumping narrators and timelines help make this a book of images, without much plot connecting them.

Mostly, this was fine. I’ve enjoyed reading about Singapore and Malaysia in The Night Tiger, Crazy Rich Asians, Sarong Party Girls, The Harmony Silk Factory, and more, and the setting in Ponti comes through strongly. As an ex-expat English teacher, I usually love reading about foreign food, foreign weather, and foreign school systems, and Ponti didn’t disappoint me there, with detailed observations about .

But I read this on my Kindle, so I didn’t have any reminder of my progress through the book. The beautiful prose, extremely slow character development, and the vaguely similar emotions between narrators, had me at the final chapter thinking At last! The exposition is over and the plot is starting!, although really I was just pages from the unsatisfying end. I enjoyed the scenes that make up this book, but, ultimately, nothing happened. Our three characters went about their days feeling frustrated and disappointed, and overall, the book left me feeling a bit frustrated and disappointed, too. ( )
  TheFictionAddiction | Aug 12, 2020 |
Readable, but just barely. This was a struggle to finish, most of the writing was just ok. Generally it felt bland. The characters, the emotions the plot events. It's an interesting premise, but not engagingly executed. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Eigentlich gebe ich nicht so viel auf Cover, aber dieses hat mich gleich angezogen.
Die Autorin Sharlene Teo verknüpft in diesem Roman die Geschichte von drei Frauen, deren Schicksal miteinander verbunden ist. Auf verschiedenen Zeitebenen lernen wir die unterschiedlichen perspektiven kennen. Der Schreibstil ist gut zu lesen, fast schon ein wenig poetisch.
Die bezaubernde Amisa wächst in einem kleinen Dorf auf und verlässt ihre Familie, in der Hoffnung in Singapur ein besseres leben zu finden. Aber ihr Leben verläuft ganz anders als erhofft.
Amisas Tochter Szu hat nicht die Schönheit ihrer Mutter geerbt. Sie fühlt sich überall ausgeschlossen und von ihrer Mutter nicht geliebt. Dann lernt sie Circe kennen und es entsteht so etwas wie Freundschaft.
Später erfahren wir dann von Circe mehr über die Vergangenheit. Auch ihr Leben verlief nicht gerade gut.
Es sind interessante Charaktere, mit denen wir es hier zu tun haben. Aber auch das Leben in einem uns doch ziemlich fremden Land ist gut beschrieben.
Es ist eine etwas bedrückende Geschichte, die in einer schweißtreibenden Gegend spielt. Sie hat mir aber gut gefallen ( )
  buecherwurm1310 | Dec 20, 2019 |
Exibindo 4 de 4
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Remarkable' - Ian McEwan.2003, Singapore. Friendless and fatherless, sixteen-year-old Szu lives in the shadow of her mother Amisa, once a beautiful actress and now a hack medium performing séances with her sister in a rusty house. When Szu meets the privileged, acid-tongued Circe, an unlikely encounter develops into an intense friendship and offers Szu a means of escape from her mother's alarming solitariness.Seventeen years later, Circe is struggling through a divorce in fraught and ever-changing Singapore when a project comes up at work: a remake of the cult seventies horror film series 'Ponti', the very project that defined Amisa's short-lived film career. Suddenly Circe is knocked off balance: by memories of the two women she once knew, by guilt, and by a past that threatens her conscience.Told from the perspectives of all three women, Ponti is about friendship and memory, about the things we do when we're on the cusp of adulthood that haunt us years later. Beautifully written by debut author Sharlene Teo, and enormously atmospheric, Ponti marks the launch of an exciting new literary voice in the vein of Zadie Smith.

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823.92 — Literature English English fiction Modern Period 21st Century

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