ANUGERAH S.E.A. WRITE
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Dr. Zakaria Ali was born in Malaysia and received his primary education in the Undang Rembau English School and the government English Primary School in Port Dickson. In 1968 Dr. Ali continued his studies in Fine Art at Southwestern University in Texas, USA and after acquiring two Master's Degrees, he was awarded a doctoral degree by Harvard University in 1991.

Dr. Ali began writing creatively in 1968 and has won various literary awards for his works such as "Sungai" and "Arah ke Selatan". His first novel, Empangan, won the prestigious Hadiah Sastera Malaysia award in 1991/1992 for the novel category. He teaches, paints and writes and is deeply involved in Malaysia's literary and cultural activities. He was judged on the merit of all three of his novels, Empangan, Villa Maya, and Percikan.

DR. ZAKARIA ALI
EMPANGAN (1990)

Memang mendapati dirinya berada dalam keadaan seperti yang dikehendakinya. Sasaran pertama yang perlu dibaik pulih ialah diri sendiri: dia ingin melupakan cara hidup di Amerika, secara sedikit demi sedikit. Dia ingin menjadi Melayu semula, berfikir, bertindak dan berkelakuan macam orang Melayu. Dan modelnya ialah Daun Nadim. Telah diperhatikannya tingkah laku pengukir itu dengan teliti, segala gerak-gerinya dirakamkan dalam hati, dengan tujuan mendapatkan kembali rasa kemelayuan yang sudah lama hilang dari dirinya. Dia membuat kesimpulan bahawa memelayukan diri pasti memakan jangka masa yang panjang. Mungkin sama panjangnya seperti dia kehilangan kemelayuan di Amerika dan Mexico. Dan seringkali pula apabila dia menyiulkan lagu Bob Dylan...leave at your own chosen speed dalam konteks memelayukan seorang pemuda Melayu di kampungnya sendiri adalah merupakan petanda, betapa dia inginkan mompromo-kompromi di antara tuntutan dua budaya yang amat bereza.