Malaysian literary legend KS Maniam died earlier today. He was 78.
Maniam succumbed to cancer of the bile duct this afternoon at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre in KL. News of his death was shared on Facebook by his friend Malachi Edwin Vethamani, a professor at the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus.
Born in 1942, Maniam or Subramaniam Krishnan, was also a lecturer and associate professor in Universiti Malaya’s English Department in the 80s and 90s. His career spanned over 55 years as he published his first work, a poem, at the age of 22.
Maniam’s short stories won first prize at national competitions by the New Straits Times in 1987 and 1990. He was also the inaugural recipient of the Raja Rao Award in 2000 for his outstanding contributions to literature among the South Asian diaspora.
He is best known for his novels, The Return and In A Far Country. Many of his literary pieces touched on the plight of the Malaysian Indian community and working class.
Many of his works touched on the plight of the Malaysian Indian community and working class.
Maniam, who was based in the Klang Valley, was also respected in theatre circles, and was one of the founding members of local performing arts outfit Five Arts Centre.
On the academic front, Maniam worked in the English department of Universiti Malaya as a lecturer (from 1980-1985) and associate professor (1986-1997).
Last year, Maniam was honoured at the K.S. Maniam’s Writing: A Celebration tribute, organised by the University of Nottingham’s School of English and Maya Press.
Maniam leaves behind his wife, son, daughter and two grandchildren.
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