Malaysian author Viji Krishnamoorthy longlisted for Dublin Literary Award

Malaysian author Viji Krishnamoorthy longlisted for Dublin Literary Award

‘912 Batu Road’ is a multi-generational story from World War Two to the present day, weaving fact and fiction

Viji Krishnamoorthy spent about 15 years ‘on and off’ working on the novel. – Clarity Publishing pic, February 1, 2023

THE 28th edition of the prestigious Dublin Literary Award has revealed its 70-title longlist, and Malaysian writer Viji Krishnamoorthy has made the cut with her debut novel, ‘912 Batu Road.’

The award, which has a prize money of €100,000 (about RM460,000), is unique in that it is nominated and judged by libraries from all over the world, making it one of the largest literary awards of its kind. This year, nominations came in from 84 libraries in 31 countries, and 14 of the 70 titles in the running are their author’s debut work.

Krishnamoorthy’s ‘912 Batu Road’ is historical fiction focusing on the heroic exploits of Malayan wartime heroes during the World War II, such as Sybil Kathigasu and Gurchan Singh. The National Library of Malaysia selected the novel for its history, patriotism, and display of the country’s multiracial harmony.

“It still feels quite surreal to see my little book 912 Batu Road on the same list as some literary giants. This is a great privilege, and I am both honoured and humbled. My thanks to the National Library of Malaysia for the nomination,” the writer said to The Vibes.

The five judges for this year’s competition are Gabriel Gbadamosi, Marie Hermet, Sarah Moss, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Arunava Sinha, with Chris Morash serving as the non-voting chairperson. The shortlist will be revealed on March 28, and the winner will be announced on May 25.

For Krishnamoorthy, the honour of being longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award is a testament to the years of arduous work she has put into writing her novel.

She revealed that the process of writing 912 Batu Road took “on and off about 15 years,” adding that, “I had done most of the writing by 2010 but it was only in 2018 that I decided to do something with the manuscript. It was finally published in 2021.”

The National Library of Malaysia selected ‘912 Batu Road’ for its history, patriotism, and display of the country’s multiracial harmony. – BookXcess pic

Currently, she is working on her next novel, which is still in its early stages.

The two novels that received the most nominations for this year’s edition are ‘Small Things Like These’ by Claire Keegan and ‘The Island of Missing Trees’ by Elif Shafak. The longlist also includes 29 novels in translation, with ‘Bitter Orange Tree’ by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth, who together won the International Booker Prize in 2019 for ‘Celestial Bodies.’

If the winning book is a translated work, the author will receive €75,000, and the translator will receive €25,000. The list of translated authors includes Reem Bassiouney, Georgi Gospodinov, Thorvald Steen, Johka Alharthi, Sang Young Park, Geetanjali Shree, and Yoko Tawada. The list of translators includes Roger Allen, Marilyn Booth, Sophie Hughes, Anton Hur, Daisy Rockwell, and Sam Taylor.

source – The Vibes

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