Archive for the ‘Malaysian Non-Fiction’ Category

Behind that Shiny Resume by Jasmine Yow

by Susan Abraham

A melancholic & subdued mood snatched from a blistering jet-lag after Africa and this, compounded with a half-empty planeload, saw me start and finish Jasmine Yow’s compelling raw memoir titled Behind that Shiny Resume on a recent night-flight from Kuala Lumpur to Abu Dhabi.  A small book published just this month by Armour Publishing, in Singapore; the diary jottings would detail the  travailing of academic brilliance gone sour in the face of a painful rebellion matched against a dreaded educational system, both in Malaysia & Singapore.

Yow, a Malaysian high-achiever resented her academic brilliance from a complicated and lingering clinical teen depression that stubbornly stayed the course. She would learn to celebrate life again… her Christian testimony eventually evident and coined from the onset of heavenly love & healing; of which this present student of journalism professes with great expectation towards the end of her story.   Meanwhile,  a reader  would collect the impression that the miraculous breakthrough in question was still habitually working over time, to soothe a series of hard emotional knocks.

Yow’s  tender story derives its beauty from a brutal honesty told through caustic speech & steely perceptions.   Her efforts are almost methodized in her many dislikes and resentments of the ordinary as much as she stays idealistic for what one may only assume to be an elusive eternal beauty. Her thoughts and  little essays are painstakingly structured and  well-regulated in a way that stays obvious of  many feature journalists in the presentation of tidy articles.  She also seems doubly sure in the way of cynicism although she would later reproach her own initial thoughts with virginal meditations of love and joy.

However, the book is heavy with emotion & be warned that this  sometimes starched content may easily draw on a slight listlessness for the reader not as familiar with the subject of depression or of Yow’s fearless, candid lessons  measured from hindsight.  Still,  in the light of a willing party, there is much wisdom to be learnt and philosophy built from society’s cultural values and traditions may take a sound beating.  There is no doubt that Jasmine Yow’s story although narrated starkly and early in  youth, is one that signals a necessary, industrious hope for a highly-promising writer whose resonant voice stays becoming against an urgent timeline measured with the studied if not threaded silkiness common of a spider’s lovely web.