The winner will be announced in December.

Shortlist for Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay book prize announcedNewIndiaFoundation.Org
news Books Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 10:51

Six notable books have been shortlisted for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize this year, the New India Foundation announced on Monday. The prize focuses on non-fiction literature from emerging writers, and includes a cash award of Rs 15 lakh as well as a citation. 

This year’s list has books from various genres, such as environmental history,biography, investigative, among others. The books featured in this year’s short-list include Arupjyoti Saikia’s The Uniquiet River, Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban and Midnight’s Machines by Arun Mohan Sukumar. 

The jury, which chose the six books from a longlist of 12 titles, include author Ramchandra Guha, Nandan Nelekani and Srinath Raghavan. The jury, which also includes author Nayanjot Lahiri and Chairman of Teamlease Services Manish Sabhawal, is chaired by political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal.

In 2018, Milan Vaishnav’s debut When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics took home the grand prize, and last year, it went to Ornit Shani’s How India Became Democratic.

”The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay prize short-list demonstrates the range and quality of non-fiction writing about modern India, from political biography to the sociology of politics, from investigative journalism to the history of ecology and of technology,” the jury said in a statement. 

The winner will be announced in December 2020. 

Here are this year’s shortlisted books:

  • Midnight's Machines: A Political History of Technology in India by Arun Mohan Sukumar (Penguin Random House)

  • The Unquiet River: A Biography of the Brahmaputra by Arupjyoti Saikia (Oxford University Press) 

  • A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V.K. Krishna Menon by Jairam Ramesh (Penguin Random House) 

  • Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban (Juggernaut)

  • Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth by Stephen Alter (Aleph)


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