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NUS academics author two novels set in India

22 May 2012

(From left) Assoc Prof Sankaran, Minister Iswaran, Mr Nathan and Dr Nardin at the book launch
With India as a backdrop, Void of Reason leads readers on a riveting crime investigation by a Singaporean detective and an Indian policewoman, while Little Women in India tells a tale of romance and adventure of four sister-heroines. The two maiden novels by Assoc Prof Chitra Sankaran and Dr Jane Nardin respectively, both from the NUS Department of English Language & Literature, were launched on 21 May.

Congratulating the first-time novelists, Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran said that the efforts by Singapore's writers and artists are an important part of the endeavour which will enhance the visibility of Asian culture on the world stage.

Mr Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, added that to gain a deeper insight into the diversity of Asia, "one definitive way to heighten awareness of our context and culture is to put it on the mindscape of the populace through literary fiction."

Special Guest Mr S R Nathan, Former President of the Republic of Singapore, said that despite being academics, both authors have written fiction in popular genres. He found it "interesting that each writer has brought her academic interest to bear on her novel."

Drawing inspiration from Tamil cultural symbols and literary text, Assoc Prof Sankaran is an avid whodunit fan since young. She found planning her first novel to be a natural extension of a lifelong interest.

As for Dr Nardin, she was motivated by Assoc Prof Sankaran's book and decided to draw on her knowledge of 19th century adult fiction to produce a young adult novel, the kind of genre fiction she most enjoys reading.

Void of Reason is now on sale at BooksActually and NUS Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Ltd. Copies will also be available at NUS libraries and public libraries under the National Library Board. Little Women in India will be officially published in September 2012.