An author and lecturer from the United States has been awarded a prestigious £26,000 fellowship to spend nine months writing a novel at the University of East Anglia.
Ramesh Balakrishna (R.B.) Pillay, currently a teacher at Niagara University in New York, hopes to complete a novel about an elderly Singaporean Indian, who dreams of becoming a Bollywood star.
He will become the fifteenth recipient of the David T. K. Wong Fellowship when he arrives at UEA in October this year.
Mr Pillay was born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and received his BA in English Literature from Tufts University, and his MFA in writing from Columbia.
The fellowship is awarded annually. It was set up in 1997 to enable a fiction writer who wants to write in English about the Far East to spend a year at UEA’s Norwich campus.
It is named after its sponsor, Mr David Wong, a retired Hong Kong businessman, who is himself a writer, having so far published four collections of short stories and two novels.
Mr Pillay said: "I feel very honoured to have been awarded the David Wong fellowship. I am grateful for the time and support the fellowship will afford me while I work to complete my novel.
“The University of East Anglia is known for its thriving community of creative writers, and I look forward to experiencing it firsthand this autumn.”
He will officially begin his fellowship on October 1, and will live on the university campus for the duration of the academic year.
Prof Jon Cook, who has recently taken over chairing the selection committee for the fellowship, said “Each year the David Wong Fellowship attracts a strong international profile of applications from some very talented writers. Ramesh Pillay’s work is full of promise, and we look forward to welcoming him to UEA.”
For more information about the David T. K. Wong Fellowship, visit www.uea.ac.uk/lit/fellowships/david-wong-fellowship