Malaysia, United Kingdom
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Socrates’ counsel “Know thyself” was not going to be remotely possible without the aid of great literature which is all about the human heart in conflict with itself.
Hear our panelists suggest why literary works are fascinating guides to human character. This is an extremely rare occasion where we have such distinguished panellists gathered together.
Read more on the Festival blog here.
David T.K. Wong was born in Hong Kong and received his early education in China, Singapore and Australia. He has degrees in political science and journalism from Stanford University in America and a post-graduate diploma in public administration from the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague. Later, he also became a Fellow in Economics at Queen Elizabeth House at Oxford.He worked as a journalist in Hong Kong, London and Singapore for a number of years before joining the Administrative Service of the Hong Kong Government. After retirement from public service, he became the Managing Director of an international trading firm for eight years before migrating to London to embark upon a writing career.
One of Hong Kong’s most distinguished writers, to-date he has published four collections of short stories and two novels. His short stories, some of which have earned him a number of awards, have appeared in various magazines in the United States, Great Britain, Hong Kong and other Asian countries.
Many of his stories have been broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in Britain, RTHK in Hong Kong and other stations in Ireland, Holland, Belgium and elsewhere. A number of his short stories have appeared in anthologies.
He is now resident in Malaysia and is currently working on the third volume of his family memoirs, dealing with his experiences as a civil servant in the Hong Kong government.
He is the founder of the annual David T.K. Wong Fellowship in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in the UK. The Fellowship awards £26,000 to a successful candidate to write a serious work of fiction set in the Far East.
“In each story, Wong slips into the skin of a different person, sharing insights into their respective worlds with us. He deftly avoids the clichés often associated with Hong Kong fiction, and through his sharp observation of human nature draws us into each plot, so that the moment we finish one story we’re looking forward to the next.” – South China Morning Post
Achievements and Accolades:
2011 Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
2014 Medicine Unboxed Prize
2006 and 2014 Poetry Book Society Recommendations
2011 Lierature Wales Bursary
2011 Shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year Prize
2014 Hawthornden Fellowship
Apart from writing four novels to date Redang (Swamp Story), “Promises of Paramaribo”, Daunand “Tree of Sorrow”, Malim has produced 5 short story collection; (Usia, Ini Chow Kit Road, Sudilah Mampir!, Langit Tidak Berbintang di Ulu Slim, Tanah, Air, Api dan Angin, Song of September and Sarah Leong’s Story) and 7 poetry collections (Gemaruang,Hujan Di Limun Pagi (Early Morning Rain), Sajak-sajakku Tak Pernah Tahu (My Poems They Never Knew), Malim Nawar Telah Kupinjam Namamu, Embun Gugur di Halaman (Dew Drops on the Pathway) and Kembali Kepada Kata). Malim has translated literary works from Malay-English and vice-versa. Among them, “Frankinsense” (Mana Setanggimu) by National Laureate Noordin Hassan and Imam, by National Laureate Abdullah Hussain. He has also translated short stories by National Laureate Anwar Ridhwan and other literary works from Venezuela, Turkey, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, China and Japan into Bahasa Melayu.
His research work on Quranic sciences produced “The Profound Truth Understanding Perfection”, which has since been translated into Thai.
Malim has won many awards and prizes both nationally and internationally, including the Esso-Gapena Literary Prize, Utusan Group Literary Prize, Malaysian Literary Prize and Hadiah Sastera Perdana. In 2013 he was awarded the SEA Write Award by the Government of Thaiand and Doctor of Literature (D.Litt) from the World Academy of Arts and Culture, California, USA. In 2014 he received the Perak Laureate Award.
In 2016 his novel, “Tree of Sorrow” was listed among 160 best novels and nominated for the IMPAC Dublin International Book Award. In 2016 his short story collection, Langit Tidak Berbintang di Ulu Slim (Starless Sky in Ulu Slim)won the MASTERA (South East Asia Literary Council) Award and his poem, “The Game of Rodeo” won First Prize in the poetry competition organized by the 36thWorld Congress of Poets in Prague, Czech Republic.
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