SINGAPORE – The Epigram Books Fiction Prize was gained by a Malaysian for the second time on Saturday (Jan 22).
Karina Robles Bahrin will obtain $25,000 from the seventh version of the prize, Singapore’s solely award for unpublished English-language novels.
Her manuscript, The Unintentional Malay, got here in tops at a digital ceremony live-streamed on Fb and YouTube.
“That is actually surprising as a result of it is my first try at a novel,” stated Robles Bahrin, 53, who runs a lodge, restaurant, farm and group storytelling initiative on the island of Langkawi.
She is the second Malaysian to win the prize, after Joshua Kam in 2020 for his novel How The Man In Inexperienced Saved Pahang, And Presumably The World.
The Unintentional Malay follows Jasmine Leong, a workaholic who desires to be the following chief government of a bak kwa firm owned by the rich Leong clan, however discovers that she is definitely Malay.
Nanyang Technological College professor Shirley Chew, who was on the judging panel, hailed Robles Bahrin’s novel as “an clever, well-crafted and vital work”.
“The narrative motion and the construction of the novel are constructed with a pointy sense of the dramatic. That is ably helped by a prose that’s full of life with flashes of wit,” she stated.
The opposite judges have been creator Amir Muhammad, writer of Buku Fixi in Malaysia; T. Sasitharan, co-founder and director of Intercultural Theatre Institute in Singapore; Affiliation of Ladies for Motion and Analysis president Margaret Thomas; and Epigram Books writer Edmund Wee.
The opposite finalists, who’re all Singaporean – pupil Ng Ziqin, 20; non-public tutor Nisha Mehraj, 37; and common practitioner Tan Lip Hong, 58 – will every get $5,000.
All 4 shortlisted novels can be revealed within the second half of this yr.
The prize, which is a money advance in opposition to future royalties, was began in 2015 for Singapore writers and opened to writers from different Asean nations in 2018.