The Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2008 shortlist was announced recently. The awards include categories like English Fiction, Indian Language Fiction Translation and English Non-Fiction. The nominees were selected from 176 entries and the winners will be announced on July 23 and will be given Rs.3 lakhs each.
Via The Hindu
Instituted in 1998, this book award “recognises and rewards the best of Indian writing and ensures that works of merit reach a wider audience”. Butalia, who headed the panel, said that such literary awards are a good thing for all concerned. They provide recognition and sales to authors. For publishers, it’s a reassurance that they are on the right track. For readers, it’s a sign of what is good. And for sponsors it’s a way to connect with matters of intellect rather than lucre. But despite the obvious benefits it is also true that literary choices are highly limited and even more subjective.Some of the books shortlisted are Manjula Padmanabhan's “Escape”, Amitav Ghosh's “Sea of Poppies”, Chaturvedia Badrinath's “The Women of Mahabharata” and Aatish Taseer's “Manto – selected stories”. You can find the entire list here.
The award is also a way to support existing writers, and that’s why it is not given posthumously.