Mirza Waheed's Tell Her Everything, Santanu Das' India, Empire, and First World War Culture win The Hindu Prize 2019
The jury of the 2019 The Hindu Prize described Mirza Waheed's book as being 'an extraordinary work of fiction whose complexity, depth and narrative mastery would be hard to match in contemporary world literature'
The 2019 edition of The Hindu Prize has been awarded to Mirza Waheed's Tell Her Everything in the fiction section and Santanu Das for India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs in the non-fiction section.
The jury members for the fiction category included author and diplomat Navtej Sarna, journalist Nilanjana Roy, writer Pradeep Sebastian, academician J Devika, and teacher and feminist scholar Rajeswari Sunder Rajan.
On the non-fiction jury were publishing consultant Kamini Mahadevan, researcher and teacher Chandan Gowda, consulting editor Harsh Sethi, dramaturg and critic Rustom Bharucha, and academic Shiv Visvanathan.
Jury members described their choices as sensitive and complex.
“An extraordinary work of fiction whose complexity, depth and narrative mastery would be hard to match in contemporary world literature,” reads the citation for Waheed’s Tell Her Everything, adding that it is “a compelling novel, both a narrative tour de force and an exploration of a profound existential and moral conundrum.”
The award citation for Das’ work details it as “a sensitive exploration of the human dimensions of a major modern war that reshaped global politics and culture in fundamental ways." The book, it adds, “helps to re-examine the scholarly and popular imaginations of the First World War which have tended to ignore the involvement of close to over a million Indians in it, and in particular, the tens of thousands among them who lost their lives.”
The Hindu Prize was founded in 2010 and is usually awarded at the Lit For Life festival, but the 2020 edition was cancelled early this year. Instead, an award ceremony was scheduled for 28 March, which also stands cancelled now because of the coronavirus outbreak.
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