Dubai-based Malayalam writer wins award

Thiruvananthapuram: Sahira Thangal, a Dubai-based advertising executive and writer, has been selected for the first Emerging Writers` Award. The award will be presented during the third Kovalam Literary Festival to be held here from Oct 1 to 3.

Thangal was selected by a one-man jury, noted writer Paul Zachariah, for her two books in Malayalam.

"She is an excellent poet, thoughtful and lyrical and brief, and also a novelist of great promise," Zachariah said.

"Her first novel, `Rabia` is a brilliant narration of a modern young Muslim woman`s emotional conflict which she faces in traditional relationships," he said.

Thangal shot into the limelight with her first collection of poems, `Janeena Ottavara`, published by the D.C. Books in 2007. She followed it up with `Rabia`, published by Current Books in 2008.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs.25,000 and other gifts from sponsors.

The Emerging Writers` Award is aimed to bring regional writers into national limelight and will be an annual feature of the Kovalam Literary Festival.

The festival this year will be attended, among others, by Pakistani writer Mohammed Haneef.

The festival is sponsored by the Kerala government`s Department of Tourism, Taj Hotels and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.