India Se Media will be organising the second Asian Women Writers Festival in January 2018 at the Arts House
9/2/2017 6:37:58 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
The second edition of the Asian Women Writers Festival (2017) is back! Conceptualised and organised by India Se Media, this landmark literary event is acknowledged to be the first of its kind. Launched last year, the event, which we hope will one day become the equivalent of the Booker Prize, will be held on September 29th and 30th at the Arts House. The theme for this year is ‘Women Write To Change.’
Following the success of our inaugural event, this year the celebrated Chinese-born British author Jung Chang will be our keynote speaker. The other writers are Nuraliah Norasid and Balli Kaur Jaswal (Singapore), Noelle Q de Jesus (The Philippines) Sabyn Javeri (Pakistan), Shobhaa De and Mitra Phukan (India).
In conjunction with the festival, this year too, the Asian Woman Writer of the Year Award carrying a cash prize of S$5000 will be given away.
As part of the virtuous circle, the Best Literature Teacher Award that carries a cash prize of S$2000 has also been instituted. There is also a Short Story Writing contest that is open to the public.
Here is are brief profiles on the authors. Book your tickets soon!
1. Jung Chang
Jung Chang is the author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991), Mao: The Unknown Story (2005, with Jon Halliday) and Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China (2013). Translated into more than 40 languages, her books have sold more than 15 million copies around the world. Apart from winning many awards such as the UK Writers’ Guild Best Non-Fiction and Book of the Year UK, she has also received honorary doctorates from universities in the UK and USA (Buckingham, York, Warwick, Dundee, the Open University, and Bowdoin College, USA).
Jung Chang was born in Sichuan province, China, in 1952. Prior to becoming an English-language student at Sichuan University, she worked as a peasant, a “barefoot” doctor, a steelworker, and an electrician during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In 1978, she left China for Britain, where she obtained a PhD in Linguistics in 1982 at the University of York – the first person from Communist China to receive a doctorate from a British university.
2. Shobhaa De
Shobhaa De, India’s top social commentator and novelist, is a patron of the Asian Women Writers Festival. She has been India Se’s first columnist and a great supporter of all its literary events. She is best known for being the youngest editor of Stardust, who was responsible for its success. This was followed by Society and Celebrity. Known for her bold and outspoken views, she explored the socialite life in Bombay and lifestyles of celebrities in her weekly columns for various publications. She has also written for several popular soaps on television, including India’s second daily serial, Swabhimaan.
De was the first Indian author to have her own imprint with Penguin Books in 2010. She also regularly participates in literary festivals around the world.
3. Balli Kaur Jaswal
Balli Kaur Jaswal is the author of Inheritance, which won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award in 2014, and Sugarbread, a finalist for the 2015 inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Her third novel, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (Harper Collins/William Morrow), was released internationally in March 2017. Translation rights to this novel have been sold in France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Greece, China and Estonia while its film rights have been acquired by Scott Free Productions and Film Four in the UK.
Born in Singapore with roots in Punjab, India, Balli grew up living in Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Australia and the US. She has been a writer-in-residence at the University of East Anglia and Nanyang Technological University.
4. Mitra Phukan
Mitra Phukan is a writer, translator, columnist and trained classical vocalist who from Guwahati, Assam. She has written a wide range of published works, including several children’s books, a biography, two novels —The Collector’s Wife and A Monsoon of Music—and a collection comprising fifty of her newspaper columns, titled Guwahati Gaze. Her novel, The Collector’s Wife, is set against the Assam Agitation of the 1970s and 80s and was one of the first generation English novels by an Assamese writer to be published by an international house. Her works have been t
ranslated into several Indian and European languages. She also won the UNICEF-CBT award for children’s writing for her book, Mamoni’s Adventure (1986). Her fortnightly column in The Assam Tribune is widely read and she is one of the most prominent literary voices in English from north-east India.
5. Noelle Q de Jesus
Noelle Q. de Jesus is a Filipina American fictionist who has lived for the last 17 years in Singapore. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines and journals in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, France and the United States. She conceptualised and edited the flash fiction anthology series Fast Food Fiction Short Short Stories To Go and Fast Food Fiction Delivery (Anvil Publishing). Her first book of short fiction, Blood: Collected Stories, was published by Ethos Books Singapore, and it won the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award for short fiction. Last May, she was invited to the Brockport Writers Forum at SUNY in Brockport New York, and this October, she will be attending the Philippine American International Book Festival in San Francisco. She represented the Philippines for the first Asian Women Writers Festival in 2016, and is very pleased to have been asked to do so again this year. Noelle is married, also to a writer, and they have two university aged children. Even though she feels Filipino at heart and American by circumstance, she considers Singapore home.
6. Nuraliah Norasid
Nuraliah Norasid is the author of The Gatekeeper, her debut novel which won the 2016 Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Her writing in her fantasy story, revolving around a young medusa who becomes a gatekeeper of an underground settlement of non-humans, was described by judge and playwright Haresh Sharma as “confident and effortless”.
She holds a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from Nanyang Technological University and works as a research associate at the Centre for Research on Islamic and Malay Affairs (RIMA), where she studies marginalisation and the confluence of religious ideas and secular society. Her writing has been published in QLRS, Karyawan Magazine, AMPlified and Perempuan: Muslim Women Speak Out.
7. Sabyn Javeri
Sabyn Javeri is an award-winning short story writer and the author of the bestselling novel, Nobody Killed Her. Her short stories have been published in literary journals such as The South Asian Review, The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, Wasafiri, Trespass, Bengal Lights, Sugar Mule, and in award-winning anthologies and creative writing textbooks. She has also received the Oxonion Review Short Story Award and was shortlisted for the first Tibor Jones Award. She has a Masters from Oxford University and a doctorate from the University of Leicester. Born in Pakistan, she now divides her time between London and Karachi, where she is an assistant professor for creative writing at Habib University.