I will blog the Readers Choice award first, and here's the list
Fiction (Novels/Novellas) :
Preeta Samarasan - Evening is the Whole DayFiction (Short Stories) :
Tunku Halim - Juriah's Song
Brian Gomez - Devil's Place
Tan Twan Eng - The Gift of Rain
Kuan Guat Choo - Mouse Clutching Winter Melon
Khoo Kheng-Hor - Nanyang : The Lure of Southern China to Lands of Opportunity and Danger
Wena Poon - Lions in WinterNon-Fiction :
Robert Raymer - Lovers and Strangers Revisited
Matthew Thomas - Tales from the Court and other Stories
Yvonne Lee - Vanity Drive: The Vagaries of Women's VanityIn case you're wondering, this year, unlike last, overseas published Malaysian authors have been included provided that their books were in mass market paperback during the qualifying period. Thus Chiew-Siah Tei's Little Hut of Leaping Fishes is expected to be on next year's list. Shih-Li Kow's collection of short stories, Ripples, wasn't published in time to qualify for this year's list but should make it for next.
Sheik Mustapha Shukor Al-Masrie - Reach for the Stars
Adeline Loh - Peeing in the Bush
Adibah Amin - Glimpses : Cameos of Malaysian Lives
Paddy Bowie - Datuk Teh Hong Pow : Banking Thoroughbred
Kee Thuan Chye : March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up
Tun Mahathir & Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad - Dr. Mahathir's Letters to World Leaders
Rustam A. Sani - Failed Nation? Concerns of a Malaysian Nationalist
Amir Muhammad - New Malaysian Essays 1
Awang Goneng - Growing Up in Terengganu
It's a shame isn't it there is only one prize, with so much of interest on the list and so much diversity!
We have authors who have achieved acclaim for their work overseas and who have each been nominated for one the world's most prestigious literary prizes (Tan Twan Eng - Booker, Preeta Samarasan - Orange).
We have one Singaporean author (Wena Poon) eligible because she was published in Malaysia.
We have last year's winner Adibah Amin, coming back for another bite of the cherry.
We have one former prime minister.
We have two authors who have passed away since their books were written - Rustam A. Sani and Sheik Mustapha Shukor Al-Masrie who wrote about his brother Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, Malaysia's first "astronaut" and died just one day before his brother landed from his voyage to the international space station.
Voting will be once again via the Star's Reads Monthly Supplement (though I'm not sure when that will be). The bookstore is organising promotions of the books and from June onwards, customers that visit POPULAR outlets will get 20% discount when they buy any of the nominated books. The winner will be announced at Bookfest @ Malaysia 2009.
Yes, it is a popularity contest and yes, in that sense it cannot be considered a serious literary award.
But it does shine the spotlight on local authors and create some conversation about their books, which cannot be at all a bad thing.
Congrats to all the listed authors and their publishers.
Sorry for misleading info. There are separate prizes for fiction and non-fiction, and three prizes in each category - which means 6 winners. Whee!!
Postscript 2 :
The question of whether Khoo Kheng-Hor's book is fiction or non-fiction comes up in the comments to this post. Shirley Ng of MPH forwarded me an interesting note about this from Khoo herself who says :
... my case stories from China were based on what my aunts told me about my grand-father ... If you want to categorize it under non-fiction then it is not entirely true. If it is fiction then it is not entirely true too. So what shall we call it?I didn't notice on the initial list but Yvonne Lee's Vanity Drive has been categorised as fiction. Hmmm ... creative non-fiction okay, but ....