(2018) Cold East by Gabija Grušaitė
Cold East by Gabija Grušaitė follows author and minor social media influencer Stasys Šaltoka’s journey to South-east Asia where a chance meeting with an enigmatic Russian leads him to document the murder of a mysterious Mongolian model that implicates a prime minister and his jewel-hoarding wife.
“I thought it was very brave of Clarity Publishing to decide on publishing my book as it was a politically different time then, and to be awarded the Penang Monthly Book Prize makes it even more special,” says Grušaitė.
“The reader is immersed in a millennial yet fragmented world of story-telling, vacillating between the protagonist’s desire to engage, but also retreat from his new surroundings. This sense of alienation and isolation is characteristic of twentieth and twenty-first century literature, and Grušaitė captured brilliantly the kind of ‘outsider view’ of Malaysia and the disorienting culture shock that comes with it,” says Penang Monthly Book Prize judge Dr Grace Chin, who is a senior lecturer with the English Language Studies programme at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
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