Malaysian author Saras Manickam has been announced as the regional winner of Asia for the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Her story, titled ‘My Mother Pattu’, was one of the 21 stories that were shortlisted for the competition.
Her work beat out some 5,081 entries this year.
The story describes a mother’s jealousy and envy towards her daughter, who finds that no one can protect her from the abuse except herself.
According to a report in Malay Mail Online
, Saras, who is a freelance writer and a language and creative writing teacher, was humbled by the win and said that the bar for her stories has now been raised higher among friends, teachers as well as readers.
"It is also very humbling that this story with its different voices set in a time long ago in Malaysia has found relevance and connectivity," she was quoted as saying.
An international judging panel chaired by British novelist, playwright and essayist Caryl Phillips weighted on all the entries submitted from 50 Commonwealth countries this year.
Saras' story, along with four other regional winners, will be published online in the run-up to the announcement of the overall winner later this year.
Notably, another other Malaysian writer, Lokman Hakim who wrote ‘Pengap’ in Bahasa Malaysia and was translated into English by Adriana Nordin Manan, was also shortlisted for the prize.