Matriarch of Malaysia

Unlike fellow former British colonies India and Pakistan, Malaysia has yet to produce a Vikram Seth or an Arundhati Roy. There has been no writer of international stature, or even a literary canon—in Bahasa or English—that one could call Malaysian. The Rice Mother, a delicious fictional cocktail packed with Malaysian flavors, may finally put the country on the global publishing map. Plainly, debut novelist Rani Manicka has studied other Asia-themed best sellers such as Wild Swans and The Joy Luck Club to produce a family saga centered on the tempestuous relationships between mothers...

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