A review in Volume 12 Spring 2012 - University of Texas at Austin Newsletter:
Goreng Pisang. Nasi lemak. Sambal sotong.
Rumaizah Abu Bakar’s debut collection of short stories is sprinkled with a liberal dose of such Malaysian delicacies, invoking both the country’s passion for food and steering the reader’s attention to the ordinary elements that are nevertheless central to so many human interactions. The Female Cell offers a glimpse into the everyday life of Malaysia— from simple moments caught in transit on the local rail system to the complexities of multiethnic professional environments. The collection also includes a series of travel stories based on the author’s trips to a variety of countries including Singapore, the Philippines, Turkey, and Egypt. These stories, like those set in Malaysia, also revolve around carefully detailed moments of intimate human relations. Taken as a whole, The Female Cell is the work of an emerging Malaysian author who conveys a sense of the Malaysian experience through her focus on the intricacies of personal interaction and the details of everyday life...