The award was established through a gift by the late Dr Alan HJ Chan. It honours works that epitomize, inspire and promote the spirit of Singapore. The competition spans across fiction and non-fiction titles written in any of the four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay or Tamil. It also includes translated works.
In the category of fiction, the winner was the novel Alllkunilaa by Malaysian writer Azhagunila. The work traces the lives of three generations of a family and their political involvements in the leftist movement. The judges praised the author’s ability to write with great empathy and depth, and for creating characters that are rooted in the daily lives of Singaporeans.
The second iteration of the Singapore prize will be awarded at a ceremony in 2021. The prize is a collaboration between NUS and the Singapore Book Publishers Association, with support from the National Arts Council. It is aimed at encouraging the study and appreciation of Singapore’s rich literary heritage. The prize carries a cash award of S$50,000.
Five writers won the Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) this year, including first-time winners. The oldest award winners are rmaa cureess (Rama Suresh), Suratman Markasan and Wang Gungwu. They are joined by Yeow Kai Chai and Jee Leong Koh, who both clinched the awards for their English works. The SLP is the country’s leading literary award, judging works for their literary merit.
Six works have been shortlisted for the second iteration of the NUS Singapore History Prize. The prize aims to stimulate “engagement with Singapore’s history broadly understood”, and make the nuances of our past more accessible to readers, according to the NUS press release.
The NUS Singapore History Prize, which was launched in 2015 to coincide with SG50, recognises the importance of Singapore’s heritage and its impact on our future. The prize carries a cash award and will be presented at a ceremony in October. The shortlisted works examine a range of topics, including the impact of social media on ordinary citizens and the story of the Bukit Ho Swee fire. The prize is supported by the National Arts Council and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. The judging panel will be announced shortly.