By Dennis Abrams
The Times of India reports that “’popular choice’ is not a phrase many would associate with the world of books. But the 12th edition of the Crossword Book Awards that took place at the Times Literary Carnival on Friday, made a happy exception.”
This was the 12th annual awards presented by the popular Indian bookstore chain Crossword. With more than 500 entries (based on booksales) in the initial longlist, “We read a heartening and dizzying variety of fiction from crime to literary sagas on various subjects, some with very interesting and unexpected illustrations,” said writer Usha K.R., a jury member for the fiction category. “Magically, all three of us jury members for the category identified the same five books.”
The non-fiction category alone saw 162 entries. “Indian writing in non-fiction has learnt to combine the art of dealing with large things intelligently and in a manner that would appeal to the layman too,” said Harsh Sethai, a consulting editor with Semiar Magazine who was a jury member on the non-fiction panel.
A Life in Words by Ismat Chughtai, translated by Dr. M. Asaduddin (Penguin) for Indian language translation.
The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian (Rupa Publications) for popular category.