KUALA LUMPUR: Local author and poet Datuk Dr M. Shanmughalingam was chuffed indeed to get the royal treatment for the release of his first collection of short stories.
Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah launched the former economist’s new book entitled Marriage And Mutton Curry at the Black Box, MAP@Publika on Thursday.
“I particularly welcome the insights these short stories provide into our country’s history,” said Sultan Nazrin during the launch, which was hosted by the ongoing Cooler Lumpur Festival.
“Historical fiction not only contributes to our understanding of the past but enables us to empathise with the people who shaped our history.”
Also present was Sultan Nazrin’s consort Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim.
“I’m absolutely thrilled and greatly honoured that the Sultan made time despite being busy to launch my book! He also wrote a three-page foreword for it,” Shanmughalingam, 79, enthused.
The book marks a milestone for him, as it is the first time his short stories have been published in a single volume. It contains nine previously published stories and six new ones.
Published by Singapore’s Epigram Publishers, Marriage And Mutton Curry offers short stories that paint, with gentle wit and humour, the concerns and intrigues of the Jafna-Tamil community in Malaysia.
Satirical yet deeply empathetic, these 15 stories explore what happens when we hold on to – and choose to leave behind – our traditions and identities in a changing world.
The book is now available at major bookstores nationwide. See the author interview and a review of Marriage And Mutton Curry in Star2 tomorrow.