New Book: Love, Loss and Legacy by Aneeta Sundararaj

New Book

Explores the Complexities of Humanity

Penguin Random House Southeast Asia is excited to announce the acquisition and publication of award-winning author Aneeta Sundararaj’s latest collection of short stories, Tapestry of the Mind and Other Stories which is due to hit the shelves on 13 August 2024 in India. This captivating exploration of seventeen stories promises a fascinating journey through the emotional landscape of the contemporary world and sheds light on socio-culturally topical aspects of humanity.

The book offers a vibrant mix of characters, each grappling with their unique struggles and triumphs such as a classical Indian dancer, children navigating the spirit world, individuals seeking solace in pet therapy, and families confronting the devastating consequences of discriminatory laws. The collection delves into themes often relegated to the shadows, including:

  • Mental health awareness: Each story is prefaced by a quote from a mental health expert, framing the characters’ journeys within a broader context and fostering understanding of mental health struggles.
  • Social issues: The book tackles sensitive topics like the stigma surrounding homosexuality, the manipulation of the metaverse, environmental disasters, and the long-lasting impact of cultural clashes.
  • Relationships: From the heartbreak of love lost to the complexities of divorce and sibling rivalry, Sundararaj explores the intricate web of connections that bind us together.
  • Cultural exploration: Set primarily in the author’s hometown of Alor Setar, the stories offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Malaysian culture, highlighting ethnic and religious diversity.

With her upcoming book publication, author, Aneeta Sundararaj, says, ‘Holding this book brings forth bittersweet feelings. No doubt, I revel in the intense pride that my stories have been recognized by the publishing Gods as worthy of winning awards and being published. This is coupled with sadness since many of my stories are rooted in reality; to know that there are people who would deliberately hurt another with their words and actions, is painful, at best. It touches me deeply when my readers say, “This is exactly what happened to me.”’

Nora Nazerene Abu Bakar, Publisher-Vice President, Penguin Random House SEA, says, ‘Sundararaj doesn’t shy away from portraying the harsh realities of life. With brutal honesty, she confronts complex social issues and personal struggles. However, the collection is not without moments of humour and tenderness. Ultimately, it’s a testament to the enduring human spirit, piecing together a powerful and unforgettable narrative.’

Tapestry of the Mind and Other Stories is a must-read for anyone seeking a profound exploration of the human condition, set against the backdrop of a captivating and culturally rich landscape.

About the Author

Aneeta Sundararaj is the recipient of the Trisha Ashley Award in 2022 and the 2022 H.E. Bates Short Story Prize. She was longlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize in 2023 and nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2024 by The Hooghly Review. The stories for these prizes / nominations are included in Aneeta’s latest collection of short stories, ‘Tapestry of the Mind and Other Stories’ (Penguin Random House SEA, June 2024).

Aneeta trained and practised as a lawyer before her writing career began when she created a website as a resource for storytellers and called it ‘How to Tell a Great Story’. Aneeta has also been published in many magazines, ezines and journals, including more than 250 feature articles in our national newspaper, the ‘New Straits Times’. Her book projects include her bestselling novel, ‘The Age of Smiling Secrets’ which was shortlisted for the Anugerah Buku 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia. Incidentally, The Legend of Nagakanna (an edited version of Chapter 9) was published in ‘We Mark Your Memory: Writings from the Descendants of Indenture’ (University of London in partnership with Commonwealth Writers, 2018).  Throughout, Aneeta continued to pursue her academic interests and, in 2021, successfully completed a doctoral thesis entitled ‘Management of Prosperity Among Artistes in Malaysia’ and was awarded a ‘Doctor of Philosophy (Management)’ by SEGi University, Malaysia.

Title: ‘Love, Loss, and Legacy’

Author: Aneeta Sundararaj

Available: Amazon

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