I felt honoured when told of Little Hut of Leaping Fishes being shortlisted for the Best Scottish Fiction -- a prize held in conjuction with the Glasgow Book Festival, Aye Write! -- alongside James Kelman (Kieron Smith, Boy), James Meek (We Are Now Beginning Our Descent) and Michel Faber (Ther Fire Gospel), among others.
The news came to me early this week, when I was frustrated with the slow progress of my writing due to a disease of the eye. It did cheer me up, for, being on the shortlist with some of the finest authors of the decade, to me, is already an achievement, and hence will not expect more. The fact that a book set in China written by a Malaysian Chinese is recognised as Scottish fiction signals the openness and willingness of Scottish society in embracing diversity in literature. That has put me into deep thoughts; a few months ago, in an event in Kuala Lumpur, I was questioned if my work should be regarded Malaysian fiction.
Whatever it is, as someone who loves writing, my uppermost task is to deliver the best works I could manage, to experiment with words and thoughts and images as to explore the possiblity of creativity, and to bring my message across through my writings.