Karachi, 11 March. The Pakistani-American author, Danyal Mueenuddin won the regional (Europe and South Asia) Commonwealth Writers Prize 2010 for the Best First Book for his story collection Other Rooms Other Wonders set mostly in Southern Punjab where he farms. The judges considered the book “remarkable for its clear, exact prose and its wide scope … the short sharp pithy
observations and details” according to Muneeza Shamsie the Regional Chairperson of the CWP 2010.

Suhayl_smallSuhayl Saadi was born in Yorkshire in 1961 of Afghan-Pakistani parents, and grew up in Glasgow, becoming a medical doctor. He is a widely published novelist, dramatist and poet, and the author of a short story collection, The Burning Mirror (2001), shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award. His radio and stage plays include The Dark Island, broadcast on Radio 4 in 2004, Saame Sita (2003), The White Cliffs (2004), and The Garden of the Fourteenth Moon (2006).

He has written articles and essays for several national newspapers, and song lyrics for classical and folk-rock combos. He has co-edited three anthologies, and is co-director of an arts production company, Heer Productions Ltd., which established the Pakistani Film, Media and Arts Festival in the UK. (Suhayl Saadi above, photo by Basharat Khan)

crastaAmong the bunch of famous Indian novelists and writers, Richard Crasta‘s name might not be as widely recognized as that of a Seth or a Rushdie, but few would come close to him in being funny, witty, satirical and daring–all at the same time. If you don’t believe me, I can get American legendary novelist Kurt Vonnegut to  vouch for him who found his first novel, The Revised Kama Sutra, “very funny”.  After Khushwant Singh (who is 90 plus old but still active as a below the belt heavy hitter), if any Indian writer has pushed the boundaries of satirical writing, with dollops of sexual humour (and satirical writing on a lot of other serious stuff) in his own distinctive style, it’s Richard. But, in fairness, his writing is more than that, and multifaceted, covering areas as wide as, in his own words, “autobiography, humor, satire, political critique, sexual critique, and literary criticism.”

by Zafar Anjum

romesh_gunesekera “I don’t know where my home is,” said Romesh Gunesekera, answering a question on being an   immigrant writer. “I think writers are one of the worst people to ask this question,” he added.

The well-known Sri Lanka-born novelist and poet, now living in London, was speaking at a gathering at the Asian Civilizations Museum’s auditorium yesterday evening. Captain Elmo Jayawardena, novelist, philanthropist, and a pilot with the Singapore Airlines, moderated the open discussion.