Indian-origin author wins C'wealth Book Award

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London, Mar 13 (UNI) Indian-origin author Indra Sinha has been awarded the coveted Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Book Award-- Europe and South Asia Region-- 2008 for his book 'Animal's People'.

The award hails and recognises his literary effort to reach the tragedy of the families affected by the Bhopal Gas disaster to the people across the world.

Indra Sinha said, ''It's a great honour. I am delighted for Animal and his friends.'' Prof Makarand Paranjape, Chair of Judges, said, ''The competition for the best book was stiff but Animal's People won in the end for its fiercely original, zesty style, coupled with seriousness of theme and intent.'' The Best First Book Award was awarded to 'A Golden Age' by Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh). Her book is an evocative and sensitive narration of the creation of Bangladesh through the life of a courageous and unconventional mother.

Prof Paranjape said, ''Humane, compassionate, and consistently impressive in their use of language and technique, telling of major historical events through the viewpoints of underprivileged but resolute protagonists, both books are stories of survival and hope.

This is why I believe they will appeal to a wide variety of readers.'' Each author wins 1,000 pounds and goes into the next stage of the competition to find the overall Commonwealth Best Book and Best First Book, which are awarded 10,000 pounds and 5,000 pounds respectively.

The organisers said the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, awarded annually, aims to reward the best in Commonwealth fiction written in English, by both established and new writers, and to take their work to a wider audience.

In a unique aspect of the Prize, the two Europe and South Asia regional winners will be invited to take part in a week-long programme of readings, community activities and other public events alongside the final pan-Commonwealth judging in South Africa in May.

They join other regional winners from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, South East Asia and South Pacific. The week's programme will culminate in the announcement of the overall Best Book and Best First Book winners in a special ceremony as part of the 2008 Franschhoek Literary Festival in the Cape Winelands District on May 18.

Prof Paranjape (India) was joined by Prof Neloufer de Mel (Sri Lanka) and Donna Daley-Clarke (Britain) in the judging panel.

Indra Sahni was short-listed for the Booker Prize 2007 and lost in the final round.

UNI XC SKB RS1851

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