West indian literature

SheThePeople Announces Women Writer’s Prize Shortlist

Books by Naheed Phiroze Patel, Ambai, Sarah Joseph, Selma Carvalho, Tarana Husain Khan and Krupa Ge are on the shortlist of SheThePeople‘s inaugural Women Writer’s Prize.

Novels and short story collections written by Indian female authors residing in India are eligible for the prize, which carries a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and will be announced in March.

In the case of a translated work, the prize money will be shared equally between the author and the translator.

The shortlisted works are: “A Mirror Made of Rain” (Patel); “A green bird with a red neck” (Ambai, translated by GJV Prasad); “Budhini (Joseph, translator Sangeetha Sreenivasan); “Brotherhood of Swans” (Carvalho); “The Begum and the Dastan” (Khan); and “What We Know About Her” (Ge).

The six books were selected by a jury consisting of Preeti Gill, G Sampath and Lakshmi Subodh.

The Women Writer’s Prize aims to recognize the works of women writers and their vision of the world. The selection of works ranges from first novels to translated novels by experienced authors, tracing stories from around the world and focusing deeply on their tapestry of experience and imagination.

Speaking on the diverse shortlist, Padma Shri author and prize mentor Shashi Deshpande said, “The value and reputation of any literary prize depends on the books that seek the prize. Given this, the newly instituted Women Writers Award shortlist is a good start. It’s an exciting and eclectic list, with a mix of writers from different backgrounds, belonging to different generations and books with widely varying themes.

According to her, this list seems to validate the need for an exclusive award for women’s writing.

“Too often we have seen lists in which women’s writing is relegated to the ‘also published’ category. It is now up to the judges to tackle the difficult task of selecting one of these six deserving as the final winner,” she added.

Shaili Chopra is the Founder of the Prize and Shinie Antony the Curator of the Prize.

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