Indian writing hits prolific peak

Translation takes a back seat when it comes to original writing. Let us see what is the status of Writing in India.

186 entries, shortlisted for the Vodaphone Crossword Book Award (VCBA), will be announced on July 3. The three categories – English fiction, English non-fiction and Indian language – have collectively attracted a record number of 186 entries this year, proving in turn that the award had gained prominence, as also that Indian literature is seemingly hitting some sort of a prolific peak.

Rimi Chatterjee, whose second novel The City of Love is one of the five shortlisted works in the fiction category, says:”It’s a great idea. The VCBA is our own literary award for which Indians can compete. Indians, however, seem to only be aware of the Booker, which just recognizes the books that are published in Britain. I would like to see people in India get more excited about the VCBA.” In the decade that followed its inception in 1998, the award has gone to the likes of Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie and, most recently, Vikram Chandra.

Even though these big names may be formidable, many believe it’s the recognition which relatively smaller artists get that makes the VCBA heart-warmingly novel.

Debut novelist Anjum Hasan is gladdened by the fact that there is finally a literary award that is “indigenous to India and one that sets our own standard to judge English literature.” Set in Shillong, Hasan’s Lunatic in my Head sees the hitherto known poet dabble in fiction for the first time. She says: “The fact that this award has been sponsored by a bookstore can do much for the marketing of a book.”

So friends, a Bookstore is doing something other than just selling the books! I understand such step and more such steps will bring in a lot of encouragement and motivation for budding writers, regardless of their age. Keep looking out and grab it.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3 Responses to “Indian writing hits prolific peak”

  1. samaira Says:

    A award specifically for Indian Writing in English has been long due. there are so many good writers and unfortunately, not many seem to have heard of them. Most books sell only if the writer has solid PR or gets a lot of word of mouth praise. These awards do help them getting the recognition they deserve. The winner of Vodafone award in English Fiction, is also shortlisted for the Indiaplaza Golden Quill Award. I think these awards will go a long way in establishing the credibility of these writers.

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  3. homo Says:

    While applauding the spirit of the VCA, I think it’s a bad trend that the diaspora writers now tend to be classified with IWE.

    For eg. Jhumpa Lahiri is an exceptional writer, but she has nothing new to say, just the same old third generation comfortably off Bengali NRIs lives… not even second generation or even non-Bengali, or not even new.. I agree Munroe writes such microcosmic stories, but look at the variety of characters she has…

    NOw the Indian awards have started hooking to her books too; I can only think of a worse scenario where the Central Sahitya Academy said there werent books good enough being written in India to consider for its annual awards

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