Endings and Beginnings was the theme for the 2017 D.K. Dutt Award for Literary Excellence and this book includes the winning story by Saras Manickam, and pieces by runners-up Marc de Faoite and Sharmilla Ganesan.
New beginnings grow out of endings and here are stories of characters whose life is changed by loss or failure, or by new awareness.
An unplanned pregnancy forces a young couple into an unhappy marriage in rural Sabah; a near-death experience sends a writer reeling through past lives; and a father appreciates his learning-challenged son only after the boy dies. A mother-to-be revisits her childhood home to confront dark memories of abuse … and worse; an elderly woman decides that it is time to repent her sins and find God through reciting the Qu’ran; and a teacher learns to stand up to a bullying colleague.
Elsewhere, hunters search for prey in prehistoric Iberia; an Uber driver stops to fulfill a last wish before conveying souls to the next world; and a woman finds walls of colourism barring her travel.
In this, the last year of the competition, 2015 winner Hanna Alkaf and 2016 runner-up Sumitra Selvaraj write about how the DK Dutt Award has shaped their own writing journeys.
This is a delicious rojak of writing from some of the strongest voices writing in English in Malaysia.