We are very delighted to announce that Cha contributor and our friend Prashani Rambukwella (pictured above), author of Mythil’s Secret, was awarded The Gratiaen Prize for Creative Writing in English (2009) on Saturday 8th May, 2010 at a ceremony in Sri Lanka.
In her speech, Prashani says, “Didn’t think that a children’s book could ever win the Gratiaen. Thank you very much to the judges. I hope this encourages more of us to write for our children. I’ll tell you what I found most surprising about writing a book. When I started eight years ago on Mythil’s Secret I thought writing a book and getting it published would be a solitary journey. But I was so wrong. First of all the reading you do as a child and the influences of your childhood really play a huge role, at least it did for me and you will see those influences in Mythil’s Secrets.” (qtd. from Sri Lanka’s Daily Mail)
The Gratiaen Prize was instituted by Michael Ondaatje, a joint-winner of the Booker Prize in 1992 for his novel The English Patient. The award is given annually to the best work of literary writing in English by a resident Sri Lankan. This year, the judges are Vijita Fernando, Asoka de Zoysa and Rohan Ponniah.
Cha had the opportunity to publish an excerpt from Prashani’s Mythil’s Secret in Issue #8 of the journal. Read it here. A review of the book is forthcoming in the May/June 2010 Issue of Cha as well.
Congratulations, Prashani! We are very happy for you!