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Malaysian author shortlisted for book prize

KUCHING, 23 Feb 2009: Malaysian-born author Preeta Samarasan has been shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in the Southeast Asian and South Pacific region for her novel, Evening is the Whole Day.

The award recognises the best Commonwealth fiction written in English by both established and new writers.

Preeta, 34, who hails from Ipoh, is one of two authors from Asia shortlisted from among several new candidates in this year’s entries in the First Book category. The other nominee is Indian author Aravind Adiga for his book Between the Assassinations.

Evening is the Whole Day is set in the late 1970s and 80s in Preeta’s hometown, and revolves around a prosperous Indian immigrant family. It reveals family secrets and class distinction, besides touching on early post-colonial Malaya and the riots of 13 May 1969.

The overall Best First Book winner will receive £5,000. Winners will be announced on 16 May 2009 at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in New Zealand. — Bernama

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