Eddin Khoo, of Chinese-Indian parentage, is a poet, writer and translator. He was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1969. He studied Political Thought and Islamic Philosophy at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he was a British High Commissioner’s Chevening scholar.
Following a tenure as an arts and culture journalist with the Sunday Star - Malaysia’s leading English language weekly - he founded Pusaka : Centre for the Study and Documentation of Traditional Performance in Malaysia (http://www.pusaka.com.my
) and the publishing house, Kala, which devotes itself to publishing literary translations from the world’s languages into Malay.
Eddin Khoo has worked intimately with some of Malaysia’s leading traditional artists including shadow puppeteers, musicians, dramatists and dancers. He has focused principally on the northeast Malaysian state of Kelantan, researching aspects of oral transmission, cultural and religious politics and aspects of ritual in traditional theatre. He is also an apprentice shadow puppeteer and student to the renowned puppeteer Dalang Abdullah Ibrahim, better known as Dollah Baju Merah (Red Shirt Dollah). He is presently adapting and will perform, for the shadow screen, Lessing’s Nathan the Wise
and Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac
Eddin Khoo has co-authored a book on traditional Malay Wood Carving, The Spirit of Wood
(New York,Singapore; Charles Tuttle, Periplus; 2003) and in 2004 will publish All the World’s Figures
- a collection of original poems; a translation into Malay of the novel Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree
by Tariq Ali; a translation into English of a collection of poems, Suppose We Were in Sarajevo
, by the Indonesian poet Goenawan Mohamad; continue recording and transcribing My Story : The Autobiography of a Shadow Puppeteer
by Dalang Abdullah Ibrahim. His translation, into Malay, of Melville’s Moby Dick
will be published in 2005.
He is also presently completing a book on Muslim culture, society and politics entitled The Muslim Predicament
Eddin Khoo divides his time between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bharu, Kelantan in Malaysia.