Monday, November 01, 2010

Award update

The Hindu fiction prize has gone to Manu Joseph's Serious Men. I was on the jury for the award - along with Shashi Deshpande, Mukul Kesavan and Brinda Bose - and we had a nice little discussion in a very corporate-ish conference room (haven't been in one of those in years) in a Bangalore hotel last weekend. Generally speaking I'm not a fan of competitive awards - I don't like the idea of creative works being thrown into a horse race, assessed by supposed gatekeepers of culture and awarded marks so that a single "winner" can emerge - but they do have the merit of occasionally bringing good books to the attention of readers who might not otherwise find out about them. (The dreamer in me wishes each literary award committee would simply announce a shortlist of 10 or 15 or 20 titles and leave it at that, taking the proceedings no further. Stupid fantasy, I know.)

All that said, this was probably the closest you'd get to a consensus in any four-person jury meeting. All of us were enthusiastic about Serious Men - as Mukul put it, the decision wasn't just unanimous, it was celebratory. My review of the book from a few months ago is here.


  1. Oh I just read the book last month-and loved it! I had no idea it was a recent publication.
    But the book was really good.

  2. Amusingly, I just ordered a copy of Serious Men from Amazon Marketplace, from a UK bookseller called "Jabberwock Books"!


  3. fine selection.but,i am very much agree with u that creative work shouldn't put in rat race of awards.It is dangerous for the creative instinct of any creative artist.