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Indonesia author Laksmi Pamuntjak’s ‘Fall Baby’ named best literary work at Singapore Book Awards 2020

The Jakarta Post  Mon, August 17, 2020

Photo: Laksmi Pamuntjak

A novel by Indonesian author Laksmi Pamuntjak, Fall Baby, has been named “best literary work” at the 2020 Singapore Book Awards (SBA).

Organized by the Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA), SBA is an industry award for books published in the country.

The sixth edition of SBA, which was held virtually on Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recognized 10 categories, including Literary Work, Book Cover Design, Education Title, Illustrated Non-Fiction Title and Nonfiction Title.

Fall Baby is Laksmi’s first English language novel. It was published by Penguin Random House SEA (PRH SEA) in 2019.

The book is a sequel to Amba or The Question of Red – a love story set against the backdrop of culture, political turmoil and mythology. It follows the story of Amba’s daughter Siri, an artist and “wanderer between worlds”. When Siri finds out the man she had always believed to be her father is not her biological father, she packs her bags and moves to Germany. In Berlin, a city that connects her to both of her fathers, she tries to recover her balance.

Laksmi said in a statement that she was surprised upon hearing the news.

“I always thought of Fall Baby as the sort of novel that doesn’t win prizes. But it’s a story I’ve always needed to tell, and it is this deep emotional attachment, this urgency, that I feel Nora Abu Bakar—my editor at PRH SEA—has always understood. She believes in this book, and it is important for me to know this. I’m certain that is why working with her on this book has always been easy and enjoyable. We both want the best for the book, we trust one another,” she said.

Meanwhile, PRH SEA associate publisher Nora Nazerene Abu Bakar, who received the award, said it was a huge honor to win the award and to be in consideration with such great written works “especially since we are a young publishing house, having started publishing in May 2019.”

“Since we launched in Southeast Asia, we are always on the lookout to showcase different voices from the region and we are proud to have published Fall Baby, which comes from a country that is dominated by books in the native language. With this, we were able to highlight the importance of crossing borders and transcending boundaries, just to bring good literature to the forefront,” she added. (jes/kes)

Source: The Jakarta Post, Indonesia Mon, August 17, 2020

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