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Introducing this year’s Singapore Literature Prize English Category Winners

Featuring winners of the English category for the Singapore Literature Prize 2020, why they stood out, and a little on the authors.

With the humbling theme #WhyWeWrite, the Singapore Literary Prize (SLP) 2020 reminds readers to return to the roots of the craft, to truly examine the realities that move writers to write.

This year features forty-seven nominees across the four categories, and includes works from all four of Singapore’s official languages.  The categories were poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction, and a new category – Readers’ Favourite. On the 27th of August 2020 – fitting the blueprint of most events during the pandemic – the winners were announced in SLP’s first-ever virtual ceremony.

Within the English category, there were four winners – three out of five of which were female – due to the very first co-win of the English fiction category.  Among this year’s winners also includes the very first female and lesbian author to win the English poetry category.  Yet another history-making occurrence marked by this year’s SLP.  Here are our picks from this year’s English category winners.

  • Nimita's Place

    Fiction Co-Winner: Nimita's Place by Akshita Nanda

    A tale of two women, two generations apart, in their quest for agency, Nimita’s Place explores ideas of identity and belonging in two different periods.  Nimita in 1944 and her granddaughter in 2014, face parallel trails of desiring to overcome being sequestered into domestic life.  Her granddaughter is granted that agency, but at the cost of facing the trails of an immigrant.  Amidst a throng of separate experiences between the women by ways of time and space, come poignant commonalities of hopes and dreams.

    With a tender and humorous writing style, coupled with complex, dynamic characters, Nimita’s Place finds itself at the forefront of stories from Singapore told by a unique former outsider’s perspective.

    Askshita Nanda born in Pune, India has lived in Singapore since 1995.  Since then she has joined the publishing industry and written with the Straits Times about the arts scene in Singapore from 2007 onwards.


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