Utpal Borpujari

October 27, 2008

Shanghvi, Nambisan in Man Asian Literary Prize shortlist

By Utpal Borpujari

Aravind Adiga’s Man Booker win seems to have a phase of good tidings for Indian writing in English, with works by two more authors on Wednesday shortlisted for another prestigious literary honour.

Mumbai-based Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi and Bangalore-based Kavery Nambisan are the two Indian authors whose novels, The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay and The Story That Must Not be Told respectively, are in the 2008 US$ 10,000 Man Asian Literary Prize shortlist.

The other books in the shortlist are Brothers by Yu Hua, Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco, and The Music Child by Alfred A. Yuson.

Shanghvi’s second novel is described as a twisted affair between a married older woman and a young photographer while Nambisan’s work is about an ageing widower who lives in a housing colony in Chennai and is guilt-ridden about a slum next door.

The Man Asian Literary Prize is sponsored by the Man Group which sponsors the Booker Prize and the Booker International Prize, and is open to works of original or translated fiction in English written by a living person of Asian origin that have not been published at the time of submission.

The inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007 was awarded to the bestseller Wolf Totem by Chinese writer Jiang Rong. The judging panel for the 2008 prize is headed by former governor general of Canada Adrienne Clarkson, and comprises writers Nicholas Jose and Pankaj Mishra. 

The longlist for the awards, announced earlier, comprised works by several other Indian authors, such as Tulsi Badrinath’s Melting Love, Anjum Hasan’s Neti, Neti, Daisy Hasan’s The To-Let House, Amit Varma’s My Friend, Sancho, Sarayu Srivatsa’s The Last Pretence, Sumana Roy’s Love in the Chicken’s Neck, Vaibhav Saini’s On the Edge of Pandemonium, Rupa Krishnan’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and Salma’s Midnight Tales.

(Published in Sakaal Times, www.sakaaltimes.com, 23-10-2008)

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