Not everyone can score with the debutant writing yet this remarkable women have did it.
Recently, a talented Malaysian author, Viji Krishnamoorthy’s debut novel; 912 Batu Road has been longlisted for the 28th Edition of the prestigious Dublin Literary Award 2023.
The shortlisted nominees will be revealed on March 28, and the winner will be announced on May 25.
The award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. The Dublin Literary Award offers the world’s most valuable literary prize of €100,000 (RM463,104). The award 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.
Viji was over the moon upon receiving this news, and she took up to social media to share her happy moment.
“So over the moon to see 912 Batu Road on the @dublinlitaward 2023!!! Surreal, pinch myself moment to be on this list with some giants! #dublinliteraryaward thank you!” she expressed her on her social media.
She penned and narrates the story of two Malayan families through World War II up till the early 2000s, weaving facts and fiction.
Viji, noted that it took “on and off roughly 15 years” to complete this novel. She explained that she had done most of the writing by 2010, but it wasn’t until 2018 where she decided to do something with the book. In 2021, it was finally published.
“History isn’t only about war heroes and victors and losers. It is stories of the indomitable human spirit of ordinary people going about their everyday lives who contribute in small and yet significant ways,” Viji expressed through a press release from her publisher Clarity Publishing.
“It is these human stories of empathy and kindness and love for one’s fellow people that really are the beacon on very dark and grim days. Their compassion softens the harsh and cruel realities of war.”
912 Batu Road: While a work of fiction, she also features real Malaysian heroes like Sybil Kathigasu.
“Sybil Kathigasu was a nurse and her husband Dr Abdon Clement Kathigasu had a clinic on 74 Main Street, Papan, Perak where they nursed and supplied medical aid to the resistance fighters during the Japanese Occupation,”
“Gurchan Singh was a policeman who distributed leaflets under the code name ‘Singa’ containing actual news of the war to counter the Japanese propaganda,” Viji contiunes.
“Young Malaysians must know of the contribution of these unsung heroes as they are invisible in our history books today. – Viji Krishnamoorthy”
“It was important to shine a spotlight on them and acknowledge not just their contribution but patriotism and love for their country.” Viji said.
Publisher Rosalind Chua remarked, “The interest and excitement over Viji’s novel has been amazing and despite the difficulties of publishing it during the MCO we’ve already reprinted the book twice.”
“I hope that her nomination will spark more interest globally in Malaysian talent and also encourage more Malaysians to write. We have so many stories to share with the world and so many different perspectives to offer global readers.”
912 Batu Road is available at major bookstores.
We are rooting for you Viji!
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