The Hindu Prize

The Hindu has always been committed to promoting good literature — both in English and Indian languages — showcased through the Literary Review. In 2010, in the 20th year of the Literary Review, the idea of a prize that would commemorate the best of Indian Writing in English was mooted. And The Hindu Literary Prize was instituted to honour writers who have spent their lifetime mining the human spirit through their words and ideas.


Publishers are invited to send in entries — full length novels or short story collections by one author — in May-June every year. A distinguished panel of judges comprising writers, academicians and critics decides the shortlist and the final winner. Now renamed The Hindu Prize for Fiction, this award stands proud and equal to the many other coveted literary awards of the world.



Shortlist & Judges 2016

Half of What I Say Anil Menon

A complex, intricate narrative that shows how the nation-state uses subterfuges to short-circuit its own rule of law in the service of operations aimed at the ‘enemies’ of the state. This work is a meta-narrative on the bizarre forces that operate overtly and covertly impacting the very fabric of our social, cultural and political life. The novel moves in strange directions and in unexpected ways to uncover the forces that converge to establish a powerful nexus that annihilates centres of sanity and balance in the lives of individuals and societies. At several levels the work is outrageously unconventional though firmly rooted in the history of our times. The use of multiple perspectives of narration and the self-reflexive elements in story-telling add to the narrative’s aesthetic richness.


Jinnah often Came to Our House Kiran Doshi

The novel that begins in the early part of the 20th century and ends with the Partition and Independence has a rare epic sweep. Historical figures like Jinnah and Gandhi mingle with unknown figures who too had played a role in shaping history. The larger question regarding what motivates people to act in a certain way at crucial moments is set against the political turmoil of the subcontinent. The work draws from politics and history- in the context of the nationalist phase- and fuses them with the existential dilemmas of individuals and communities. Equally remarkable is the manner in which the work corrects biases about political leaders and religious communities and properly situates the confrontation between the moderates and extremists defining the period. The style has an undercurrent of irony and the descriptions articulate what is left unsaid by the characters. The novel offers insights into some of the great personalities of the subcontinent in the 20th century.


Kalkatta Kunal Basu

The character of Jamshed Alam takes us to the underbelly of Kolkata peopled with exiles and refugees. This part of the city is violent and volatile, making the great artistic heritage of the city a distant illusion. Kunal Basu’s portrayal of lives lived on the brink is convincing and insightful. Characters like Miriam, Mandira and Rani, pose questions about contemporary life that are hard to answer. The narrative has a wealth of details about lives marginalised by the city elite.


The Adivasi Will not Dance Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

These stories set in the interior rural hinterland of tribal belt in Jharkhand, bring out the tragic struggle of the Adivasis to eke out a living on the margins of small towns. There is no attempt to idealize the Adivasis. The tales reveal the author’s inside knowledge of their customs and rituals. The language is stark and free from sentimentality. Generally the stories are told with great compassion, yet with remarkable   objectivity.


The Island of Lost Girls Manjula Padmanabhan

Manjula’s is a dystopian novel about the fate of women in a patriarchal society She employs the narrative mode of science fiction. Through harrowing episodes and searing scenes the novel documents something sinister in the making of gender relations in contemporary life and points to our need to reinvent ourselves using a different kind of imagination.


Anamika Author

Anamika (Dr) is the author of six national award-winning poetry collections and four biomythographic novels. She teaches English literature at Delhi University. Her inspiration comes from the folk and the metaphysical strain of the rebel bhakta poets. Currently, she is a UGC Fellow at Teen Murti working on the dissertation, “Proto-feminist Hindi World: Mothers, Writers, Folklorists”. Her academic publications include: Post-Eliot Poetry: A Voyage from Conflict to IsolationJohn Donne at Jaunpur: A Womanist Study Across Time and Place; Post-War Woman Poets: Treatment of Love and Death; Feminist Poetics: Where Kingfishers Catch FireTransplanting British Poetry in Indian Classrooms; Triya-Charitram: Uttar Kand; Translating Racial Memory and Swadheenta Ka Stree Paksha.


E V Ramakrishnan Translator, Writer

E V Ramakrishnan is a well-known translator and bilingual writer, who has published poetry and literary criticism in Malayalam and English. He has published three volumes of poetry in English: Being Elsewhere in Myself; A Python in a Snake Park; and Terms of Seeing: New and Selected Poems. Among his critical books in English are Interdisciplinary Alternatives in Comparative Literature (Co-edited); Locating Indian Literature: Texts, Traditions and Translations; and Making It New: Modernism in Malayalam, Marathi and Hindi Poetry. He has also edited for Sahitya Akademi Narrating India: the Novel in Search of the Nation; Indian Short Story 1900-2000; We Speak in Changing Languages: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry in English; and Trees of Kochi and Other Poems by K.G.Sankara Pillai. He has five critical books in Malayalam, including Aksharavum Aadhunikatayum, for which he was awarded Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award; Desheeyatakalum Sahityavum; and Anubhavangale Aarkanu Peti? He has two forthcoming books: one in English and the other in Malayalam. He has published over 120 research papers in Comparative Literature, Comparative Indian Literature, Translation Studies, South Asian Studies and Post-colonial Literatures. He is currently the UGC Professor Emeritus at Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.


K Satchidanandan Author

K Satchidanandan is the author of over 50 books including 20 collections of poetry. He has collections of his poetry in translation in 20 languages including Arabic, English, Irish, Chinese, French, German and Italian. His complete poems in Malayalam (1965-2015) were published in May 2016 along with The Missing Rib, a collection of his poems from the same period translated into English. He has also authored several books of criticism in Malayalam and English besides collections of travelogues and interviews. He was a Professor of English; editor, Indian Literature; Secretary, Sahitya Akademi; and is now a National Fellow at IIAS, Shimla. He has won 37 awards for his literary contribution including national awards like the Sahitya Akademi, Kusumagraj, Gangadhar Meher, Kuvempu and NTR besides five Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards for different genres. He is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and has received a Knighthood from the Government of Italy.


N Manu Chakravarthy Author, Professor

N Manu Chakravarthy is Professor and Head of the Department of English at NMKRV College, Bangalore. During the last three decades, he has taught Literary Criticism, Literary Theory, Cultural Theory and Theories of Communication to graduate and postgraduate students. He was awarded the Swarna Kamal, the President’s Gold Medal, for Best National Critic at the 58th National Film Awards in 2010. He also won the VM Inamdar award for his book Madhyama Marga on literature and culture. He writes extensively on cinema, music, literature and culture and has several books in English and Kannada to his credit.


Pradeep Sebastian Author

Pradeep Sebastian is the author of The Groaning Shelf, a collection of bibliophilic essays on the book arts. A literary columnist for The Hindu, he is also the co-editor of 50 Writers, 50 Books: The Best of Indian Fiction. His forthcoming novel is a biblio-mystery titled The Book Hunters of Katpadi.