West indian literature

Women’s Authored Books Dominate NIF Prize Shortlist


The works of four women authors feature in the shortlist of five books for the fifth Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2022 which recognizes and celebrates non-fiction writing on modern and contemporary India.

Accidental feminism: gender parity and selective mobility among India’s professional elite by Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen, The Chipko movement: a popular history by Shekhar Pathak and translated by Manisha Chaudhry, Rukmini S’s Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India, Midnight Frontiers: A People’s History of Modern India by Suchitra Vijayan and Born Muslim: Some Truths About Islam in India by Ghazala Wahab are vying for the Rs 15-lakh prize.

This year’s jury includes political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal (Chair); entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal; historians Srinath Raghavan and Nayanjot Lahiri, former diplomat Navtej Sarna and lawyer Rahul Matthan.

The winner will be announced on December 1.

Shortlisted books range from histories of nationalism to local voices, analysis of an environmental movement, portrait of a diverse community, and contemporary insights from feminism and data – all converging on an optimistic future.

Established in 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize is awarded for excellence in non-fiction literature on India published in the previous calendar year by emerging writers of all nationalities.

According to the jury, “This year’s shortlist is extraordinary, both in the wide range of themes covered and in the diversity of topics and perspectives. Deeply researched and engagingly written, these books offer an accurate insight into the making of India today and the transitions it is currently undergoing. The award is named after Kamaladevi

Chattopadhyay, who had contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, the women’s movement, the rehabilitation of refugees and the revival of craftsmanship.

Previous winners of the award are Milan Vaishnav (2018), Ornit Shani (2019), Amit Ahuja and Jairam Ramesh (2020) and Dinyar Patel (2021)

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