About the Writer
Lee Su Ann is a gifted young Malaysian writer who was born in Penang 11th June 1978. She is the oldest in her family of five. She was educated at St George’s Girls’ School in Penang from 1991 – 1997.
She began writing at the tender age of 13 and published a short story when she was 16. Prior to winning the Utusan prize for her novel ‘The Curse’ she had written numerous fiction and non-fiction some of which were published in The Star and The New Straits Times since 1994. She has also won several prizes for her writing before her novel ‘The Curse’.
“The Curse” won second prize in the English Novel Category of the Utusan Group’s Young Adult Literature Competition of 2005. Lee Su Ann had begun writing “The Curse” while she was at university in the UK and completed it in 2005. She is married and presently, a full-time medical writer.
Lee Su Ann’s depiction of traditional rural Malay society.
It is remarkable how Lee Su Ann has captured so much local colour in her book ‘The Curse’ is set in an island off Langkawi. She shows deep knowledge of traditional Malay kampong society, their beliefs and practices and family and social relationships. From bomohs to Malay ghosts to spices and herbs and cuisine (food), and daily existence of Malay farming society generally, she has managed to capture both a wide range as well as a brief snapshot of Malay society better than a lot of factual descriptions. Her ethnographic details ring true, such as fierce sibling rivalry and jealousy, through and right down to, the desperation felt by first wives when their husbands take on a second wife. She has also depicted accurately, society’s disapproval of people, i.e. the Old Lady, who do not live according to their approved lifestyle. Lee Su Ann also cleverly makes use of the ‘white blood’ connection of Langkawi and Mahsuri.