kitaab-living-now-desmond-kon-pink-tee-striped-03The accolades keep stacking up for Singaporean poet and Kitaab’s Poetry Editor, Desmond Kon. With this win, Desmond has become the first writer in the world to have won three awards under the categories of Metaphysical, Inspirational Fiction, and Death & Dying at the US-based Living Now Book Awards.

This year, the anthology Ars Moriendi (Lien Foundation/Squircle Line Press), which Desmond edited, clinched the gold, beating Denna D. Babul and Karin Luise’s The Fatherless Daughter Project: Understanding Our Losses and Reclaiming Our Lives (Penguin Random House-Avery) and Karen M. Wyatt’s What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying (Sunroom Studios).

Last year, his novel Singular Acts of Endearment (Grey Sparrow Press/Squircle Line Press) garnered the Silver award, while the hybrid work Babel Via Negativa (Ethos Books/Squircle Line Press) walked away with the Bronze.

eka-kurniawan

Indonesia’s Eka Kurniawan has won the Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices fiction award for Man Tiger, along with Brazil’s  Clarissa Campolina (who won the Emerging Voices film award for Solon) and Zimbabwe’s Gareth Nyandoro (who won the Emerging Voices art award).

The Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds presented the second annual Emerging Voices Awards to the three winners. The ceremony marked the culmination of a months-long award process which reviewed and selected from 797 submissions from 64 emerging market nations.

“It has been a fantastic process getting to know the finalists and now winners of this year’s awards through their hard work and dedication to their individual crafts,” said Michael Skapinker, associate editor of the Financial Times and chair of the judges. “I think I can speak for the entire panel of judges when I say that it is incredible to be able to share the winners’ stories and amazing talent for a second year.”

The three winners each receive a $40,000 award and the runners-up in each category receive $5,000, OppenheimerFunds said in a press statement today.

2016 EMERGING VOICES RUNNERS UP

FILM

  • Tania Cattebeke LaconichOlia, Paraguay
  • Camilo RestrepoImpressions of a War, Colombia

FICTION

  • Yu HuaThe Seventh Day, China
  • Yan LiankeThe Four Books, China

ART

  • Noor Abuarafeh, Jordan/Palestine
  • Syowia Kyambi, Kenya

KLF LogoThe second edition of the YES BANK Kumaon Literary Festival (KLF), that will be held from 11th to 15th October 2016, will feature an interesting mix of voices from all kinds of backgrounds and spectrums.

According to media statement by KLF, the festival shall play host to many famous names from the worlds of literature, publishing, cinema and politics. Authors like Amish Tripathi, Ravi Subrimanian, Preeti Shenoy, Jerry Pinto, Tuhin Sinha, Shinie Anotny, Hindol Sengupta, Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil, Nirupama Dutt, and many others have confirmed their presence for the festival. Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Justice A K Sikri, Justice S K Kaul, Shahid Siddiqui, Swapandas Gupta, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Nupur Sharma and other names from the world of politics and law have agreed kindly to be a part of the festival. Biographers like Sathya Saran, Aseem Chabra, Jai Arjun Singh, Akshay Manwani, Yasser Usman, Gautam Chintamani have all consented to be present at the Festival. Many speakers like Afia Aslam, Ali Akbar Natiq, Ameena Saiyid, Asif Farrukhi, Asif Noorani, Dr. Sabyn Javeri, Mohsin Sayeed shall all come from Pakistan to attend the festival. Speakers like Ajay Rawat, Anup Sah, Dr. Shekhar Pathak, Deepak Rawat, Mona Verma, C S Tiwari, Hridayesh Joshi, Sanjay Panday and others from the Uttarakhand heartland are going to be present at different sessions of the festival.

The first three days shall be held at Jim’s Jungle Retreat in Jim Corbett National Park, while the last two days shall be a closed door event at Te Aroha in Dhanachuli.

Thought-provoking panel discussions

The second edition of the Festival shall have sessions on a wide range of subjects.

Following are some of the highlight sessions of this edition of the festival:

South African-Australian author J.M. Coetzee is vying for his third Man Booker Prize for Fiction with his latest novel The Schooldays of Jesus, a sequel to 2013’s The Childhood of Jesus.

Coetzee leads the 13 longlisted nominees for this year’s £50,000 literature prize, which is awarded to the finest new fiction published in English between October 1 and September 30 each year. He previously won the prize in 1983 for the Life & Times of Michael K and again in 1999 for Disgrace, and was the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature.

14 Jul 16, SLP Award
Sonny Liew receiving his SLP Award

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Epigram Books) by Singaporean writer Sonny Liew has created history in the annals of Singaporean literature. It has won the Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) in the English fiction category. This is the first time when a graphic novel has won the coveted prize.

In its review, The New York Times described the book as “a coffee-table victory lap” and a purported graphic biography of “Singapore’s greatest comics artist,” punctuated by examples of his work from 1944 (a childhood drawing of Donald Duck) to 2012 (an oil painting of Singapore’s prime minister Lee Kuan Yew). In fact, it is a ‘hugely ambitious, stylistically acrobatic work by the Singapore-based cartoonist Sonny Liew’ and Charlie Chan Hock Chye is Liew’s invention. This fictional life story of the artist becomes a ‘vehicle for both a political history of Singapore’s past seven decades and Liew’s visual homages to comics’ most commercially successful innovations’. The novel had come into the spotlight after the National Arts Council (NAC) withdrew its grant for the book just before it was launched last year. The matter was widely reported, making the book an instant bestseller. NAC had said that the book had breached funding guidelines through its “retelling of Singapore’s history (which) potentially underminds the authority or legitimacy of the Government”.

CharlieChanFor the first time, a graphic novel has won the Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) – comic artist Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye took the English fiction award at the SLP ceremony on Thursday (Jul 14) evening.

The graphic novel, which also won the Book of the Year accolade at the Singapore Book Awards in May, tells the story of a comic book artist during the formative years of Singapore’s modern history.

Kitaab’s poetry editor Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde jointly won the Poetry prize for I Didn’t Know Mani Was a Conceptualist. The prize was shared with Cyril Wong.

The prize money of S$107,000 was shared between the winners.

All shortlisted SLP titles are available at MPH Bookstores until October 2017.

2016 SINGAPORE LITERATURE PRIZE WINNERS