Monday, March 2, 2020

AutHer Awards 2020 by Times of India: Shortlist announced

The AutHer Awards 2020 Shortlists for best women authors in Fiction, Non-Fiction, Debut and Children’s Literature were announced today by a panel of 12 eminent judges. The books have been chosen, post multiple layers of screening, out of a whopping 850 entries submitted by both publishers and individual authors for the coveted national award, the first of its kind in India.

The AutHer Awards – a joint venture between JK Paper and Times of India -- are a celebration of women authors who have added value and creativity to the literary space. The jury considered books by women published in India between December 2018 and November 2019.

The chairs for the AutHer Awards jury consisted of author Ashwin Sanghi (Fiction), actor and author Sonali Bendre (Non-Fiction), columnist and author Shobhaa De (Debut), and author Bulbul Sharma (Children’s books).

The other jury members were author Jaishree Misra (Fiction), author and former Deputy Secretary, Sahitya Akademi Gitanjali Chatterjee (Fiction), author Yasser Usman (Non-Fiction), author and journalist Manimugdha Sharma (Non-Fiction), author and comic writer Arjun Gaind (Debut), Co-founder of ScoopWhoop Rishi Pratim Mukherjee (Debut), actor, compere and Director of The Study School Shivani Wazir Pasrich (Children’s books), and author Ramendra Kumar(Children’s books).

The Longlists for the awards were announced yesterday. Seven books in Fiction category, nine books in non-fiction category, four in Debut category and seven in Children’s category made it to the Longlists. For the complete Longlistclick here.

The shortlisted books in the four different categories are:
(The lists are in alphabetical order)

Best Author Fiction
1. 'The Far Field' by Madhuri Vijay
'The Far Field' by Madhuri Vijay gives us a potent critique on Indian politics and class prejudice and traces history and relationships through a fractured family and state.

2. 'In Search of Heer' by Manjul Bajaj
The book is a modern retelling of the 600-year old legendary love story of Heer and Ranjha.

3. 'The Curse of Nader Shah' by Sutapa Basu
'The Curse of Nader Shah', as the title suggests, is a fictional retelling of Nader Shah's journey. The book follows the rise and fall of one of the world's most notorious conquerors.

Best Author Non-Fiction

1. 'The Anatomy of Hate' by Revati Laul
Looking back at the gruesome Gujarat riots and a decade long research, Revati Laul's 'The Anatomy of Hate' is an important addition to the literature of violence and mob mentality.

2. 'Tawaifnama' by Saba Dewan
'Tawaifnama' by Saba Dewan traces the story of a family of courtesans, their history, culture and music- belonging to a bygone era. It is a walk through a forgotten landscape of Banaras.

3. 'Coming Out As Dalit' by Yashica Dutt
In this deeply personal memoir which is also a Dalit narrative, journalist-author Yashica Dutt opens up about her journey of accepting her identity of being a Dalit. She also writes about the history of Dalit movements, their fight for equal rights, the caste injustices in our society and a need for change.

Best Author Debut

1. 'Paper Moon' by Rehana Munir
Set in Bombay, 'Paper Moon' follows Fiza's journey of finding herself and falling in love. When her estranged father passes away, he leaves a sum in her name hoping that she'll open a bookshop-- this changes Fiza's life overnight. Meanwhile, Iqbal tries to woo her while she is still confused about her feelings for her ex-boyfriend Dhruv.

2. 'This Is How It Took Place' by Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee
It is a collection of interconnected stories that touch upon the issues of mental health and loneliness. Some tales sound familiar and others are open ended, moving and thought-provoking.

3. 'Looking For Miss Sargam' by Shubha Mudgal
Singer Shubha Mudgal's debut book 'Looking For Miss Sargam' is a collection of short stories, each centered around music and misadventures!

Best Author Children

1. 'A Cloud Called Bhura' by Bijal Vachharajani
'A Cloud Called Bhura' by Bijal Vachharajani is a funny and interesting tale about the changing global climate and the havoc it can cause to humanity.

2. 'Flyaway Boy' by Jane De Suza
Jane De Suza's 'Flyaway Boy' is a realistic representation of how children of the contemporary era are being pressurized to move along with societal demands.

3. 'Being Gandhi' by Paro Anand
'Being Gandhi' not only traverses through the Gandhian ways having relevance in the modern world but also raises some pertinent questions on our society.

For the Shortlist, click here.

The winners of the AutHer Awards 2020 will be announced in a grand ceremony on Women's Day, i.e. March 8, at Taj Palace, New Delhi. The winners in each category will be given a prize worth Rs 1 lakh. Apart from this, a Lifetime Achievement Award will also be given to a woman author for her lasting contribution in the field of literature and a Popular Choice award will be given to the author selected through public voting. To vote for your favourite author, click here.

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