Books by women authors dominate NIF Prize shortlist
Bengaluru: Works by four women authors figure in the five-book shortlist of the fifth Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2022 that recognises and celebrates non-fiction writings on modern and contemporary India.
"Accidental Feminism: Gender Parity and Selective Mobility Among India's Professional Elite" by Swethaa S Ballakrishnen, "The Chipko Movement: A People's History" by Shekhar Pathak and translated by Manisha Chaudhry, Rukmini S's "Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India", "Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India" by Suchitra Vijayan and "Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India" by Ghazala Wahab are in contention for the Rs 15-lakh prize.
This year's jury includes political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal (Chair); entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal; historians Srinath Raghavan and Nayanjot Lahiri, former diplomat Navtej Sarna and attorney Rahul Matthan.
The winner will be announced on December 1.
The shortlisted books range from histories of nationalism through local voices, to analysis of an environmental movement, the portrait of a diverse community, and contemporary ideas of feminism and data - all converging towards an optimistic future.
Established in 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize is given for excellence in non-fiction literature about India, published in the previous calendar year by emerging writers of all nationalities.
According to the jury, "This year's shortlist is extraordinary, in terms of the wide range of themes covered, and the diversity of topics and perspectives. Deeply researched and engagingly written, these books offer keen insights into the making of India today and the transitions it is currently undergoing."
The prize is named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, who had contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, to the women's movement, to refugee rehabilitation and to the renewal of handicrafts.
Previous winners of the prize include Milan Vaishnav (2018), Ornit Shani (2019), Amit Ahuja and Jairam Ramesh (2020), and Dinyar Patel (2021).