A Friend in a Thousand
By John Maust, MAI President
What beautiful writing. That was my thought reading Pratibha Manaen’s poignant first novel. A Friend in a Thousand (ISPCK India, 2011) describes an Asian girl’s struggles in a patriarchal culture to go to school and live out her dreams.
Raised in Nepal as the daughter of Indian missionaries, Pratibha has been writing since age 8. I first met her in the Philippines at our LittWorld 2004 conference.
“I have found my vision to write for women in a country where vision is curtailed by the hardships of her life,” she wrote afterwards.
At a subsequent MAI workshop in Nepal and LittWorld 2009 in Kenya, Pratibha made additional contacts with gifted editors and writers, some of whom offered valuable input on her manuscript.
Pratibha works full-time for INF Nepal, a non-profit that serves leprosy patients and marginalized groups, so her novel writing must be done on the side. MAI awarded Pratibha a modest grant to work on a second novel from our David Alexander International Author Fund.
Meanwhile, Pratibha is already “giving back.” From her book royalties and donations, she set up Manushi Funds to help rural Nepali girls attend school. ("Manushi" in Sanskrit means woman.)
Thank you for helping Pratibha in her journey to becoming a published author through your support of MAI.
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>>Read an excerpt of A Friend in a Thousand.