Avni Doshi has been awarded the 2013 Tibor Jones South Asia Prize for her manuscript, Girl in White Cotton. The prize was announced at a reception on January 10th hosted at The Park Hotel Kolkata, as part of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival. The prize includes 1 Lakh Rupees and literary representation by Tibor Jones & Associates, a leading London literary agency, which represents the likes of Wilbur Smith and Rem Koolhaas.
Doshi and her fellow shortlisted writers were present at the ceremony, where all the shortlisted candidates were recognized for their achievements, and a delighted Doshi accepted the award.
Five esteemed judges voted unanimously for Doshi’s winning manuscript. Urvashi Butalia, chair of the panel of judges, said, “Doshi’s we felt was different, elegant, well crafted, precise and complex.”
The panel of judges was comprised of five well-respected literary personalities: Delhi-based publisher and writer, Urvashi Butalia (chair of the panel); Jon Cook, Emeritus Professor of Literature at the University of East Anglia; Faiza Sultan Khan, critic and editor at Random House India; Anosh Irani, award-winning Vancouver-based playwright and novelist; and Neel Mukherjee, acclaimed London-based critic and author. Butalia, Khan and Irani were present at the prize ceremony, joined by former TJSAP judge Amit Chaudhuri.
More than one hundred manuscripts of full-length novels were submitted for the 2013 prize, which was reduced to a shortlist of six candidates: Devdan Chaudhuri (Anatomy of Self), Avni Doshi (Girl in White Cotton), Ayesha Heble (Third Person Singular), Kanza Javed (Ashes, Wine and Dust), Olivier Sanjay Lafont (Arjun), and Minakshi Thakur (Lovers Like You and I). The finalists will also be encouraged to apply for the GBP 10,000 Charles Pick South Asia Fellowship at the University of East Anglia.
The prize is open to unrepresented South Asian writers with a completed draft of an unpublished novel.
This is the second year of the prize. In its inaugural year, the prize culminated in Srikumar Sen and Rohit Manchanda being announced as joint-winners, splitting the cash prize and both receiving literary representation from Tibor Jones & Associates. Sen’s winning manuscript, The Skinning Tree, was released in December 2012 by Picador India.
The prize is supported by the Charles Pick Fellowship, University of East Anglia, Tibor Jones & Associates, Oxford Bookstore, The Park Hotel, and the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival . The mandate of the prize is to encourage emerging, unrepresented writers of South Asian origin, and is unique in that it nurtures new unrecognized talent in an industry that can be difficult to penetrate.
About the Charles Pick South Asia Fellowship
The Fellowship’s dual purpose is to give a promising South Asian writer at the start of his/her career the opportunity to complete a major work and to develop his/her talents, with introductions to other writers, and practical and financial help. The award is £10,000 and includes accommodation on campus at the University of East Anglia for six months, commencing October 1, 2013. The application deadline is January 31, 2013. (uea.ac.uk/lit/fellowships)
About the University of East Anglia
The UEA was founded in 1963 and is today ranked in the top two per cent of universities in the world. Based in Norwich, United Kingdom, the University is world-renowned for its Creative Writing courses, with leading professors and a roster of alumni including Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro. (uea.ac.uk)
About the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2013
An initiative by the Apeejay Surrendra Group, the annual literary festival hosted since 2010 in Kolkata is the first international literary festival in Kolkata, a city celebrated for its intellectual depth and cultural heritage. An array of special curated discussions, performances and some of the finest literary events are scheduled for the fourth edition from January 9th-13th. A noteworthy literary and cultural representation from across India and overseas will be seen at the Festival. (kolkatalitfest.in)