SINGAPORE – The short story collection And Softly Go The Crossings made an impact at the Singapore Book Awards on Friday, September 24.
Danielle Lim’s collection won the highest honor, Book of the Year, at the annual industry awards presented by the Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA).
The seventh edition of the awards, which recognizes the best in local book publishing, took place as a hybrid event, both in person at Jurong City Hall and live online.
Lim, 47, co-won the Singapore Literature Prize for English non-fiction in 2016 for her memoir The Sound Of Sch and was previously shortlisted for the Singapore Book Awards for her 2018 novel Trafalgar Sunrise.
And Softly Go The Crossings, which also won the award for best literary work, examines change and healing, from a man caring for his dying father to a laid-off middle-aged worker trying to reinvent himself in life. new careers.
Lim, a polytechnic teacher, said she had hoped to win in the Literary Work category, but did not expect her silent book to win the title of Book of the Year.
“During this pandemic and with the climate crisis and so on, I think it’s really important for us to be more attentive to the changes, especially the invisible changes that are happening in the mind,” he said. she declared.
“There is nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary about the characters. But there is a lot of beauty and pain and also healing that we don’t see, and I think we don’t recognize it enough.
“These stories are dedicated to ordinary people who are trying to find a way to overcome their difficulties.”
In a statement, the Book of the Year jury said: “The problems, trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows told in the stories are relevant in today’s changing world and will be read for years to come. years to come.”
The panel consisted of former SBPA chairperson Triena Ong, Michelle Wang, assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University, and Ms. Suporn Arriwong, deputy head of English language selection at the National Library Board.
They also awarded an honorary mention to Denise Fletcher’s voluminous cookbook, How to Cook Everything Singaporean, which won the title of best illustrated non-fiction.
There is traditionally no shortlist for the Book of the Year category, which is judged by a separate jury once the other awards are decided. Winning titles from other categories, as well as independent submissions, will be considered.
Ten titles, chosen from 38 finalists, scored victories during the ceremony.
Lives & times of hrh – the memoir of retired civil servant Herman Ronald Hochstadt – won the title of best non-fiction, while the title of best youngster went to popular children’s book Sherlock Sam And The Seafaring Scourge On Sentosa by husband and wife duo AJ Low.
Best Audiobook, one of a few new categories introduced only last year, went to Storytel Singapore’s Impractical Uses Of Cake, based on the novel by Epigram Books Fiction award-winning Yeoh Jo-Ann, narrated by Joshua Lim .
To qualify for the prizes, books must be published in one of Singapore’s four official languages between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year.
They must have a Singapore International Standard Book Number, a unique number that identifies each edition of a book, with hard copies legally filed with the NLB. Books sold in print must be sold in local and / or overseas retail stores.
The winners, who were chosen by a jury of writers, academics and other industry insiders, received a plaque and certificate of recognition.