To recognise and celebrate excellence in non-fiction writings on modern/ contemporary India, the New India Foundation has announced the shortlist for the third edition of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize. The six shortlisted books are a testimony to the quality and diversity of non-fiction writing about India.
The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize celebrates high-quality, non-fiction literature by emerging writers from all nationalities, published in the previous calendar year. Established in 2018, the Book Prize carries a cash award of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.
This year’s longlist of 12 titles exhibited the incredible breadth and quality of narratives in and about India. The jury has shortlisted six compelling books for the Prize 2020. It covers a century of modern Indian history and encompasses several genres – biography and investigative reportage, environment histories, anthropology and history – as well as a variety of themes that blend the country‘s complex past to aspirations for the future.
The prize has been named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, the great patriot and institution-builder, who had contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, women’s movement, refugee rehabilitation and renewal of handicrafts.
The six books shortlisted for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2020 are:
Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements by Amit Ahuja (Oxford University Press)
Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India by Arun Mohan Sukumar (Penguin Random House)
The Unquiet River: A Biography of the Brahmaputra by Arupjyoti Saikia (Oxford University Press)
A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon by Jairam Ramesh (Penguin Random House)
Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban (Juggernaut)
Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth by Stephen Alter (Aleph)
This year’s eminent jury includes political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal (Chair), historian and critically acclaimed author Ramachandra Guha; entrepreneur and author Nandan Nilekani; historian and author Srinath Raghavan; historian and author Nayanjot Lahiri; and Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, Teamlease Services.
The final winner will be announced in early December 2020.