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Updated: November 1, 2011 01:11 IST

The Hindu Literary Prize goes to debut novel

Special Correspondent
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‘A WICKET MAIDEN’: Shashi Tharoor, MP, presenting The Hindu Literary Prize for Best Fiction 2011 to debutant novelist Rahul Bhattacharya for his “The Sly Company of People Who Care” in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: V. Ganesan
‘A WICKET MAIDEN’: Shashi Tharoor, MP, presenting The Hindu Literary Prize for Best Fiction 2011 to debutant novelist Rahul Bhattacharya for his “The Sly Company of People Who Care” in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: V. Ganesan

Rahul Bhattacharya's book wins the day for its consummate artistry.

For the second successive year, a debut novel struck gold at The Hindu's “Lit for Life” literary festival. Rahul Bhattacharya bagged the ‘The Hindu Literary Prize for Best Fiction 2011' for his The Sly Company of People Who Care.

The book, which narrates a young Indian's Caribbean adventures in the company of a Guyanese diamond-hunter, was virtually deadlocked for the prize with the English translation of N.S. Madhavan's Litanies of Dutch Battery, but eventually won the day for “its consummate artistry, its refusal to exoticise India — or Guyana … and its non-judgmental attitude to the characters.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh and a plaque.

Presenting the prize to the Delhi-based author, writer and MP Shashi Tharoor said it was important to support the efforts of The Hindu to celebrate good writing in English in fiction, especially as the challenge of getting people to read in an increasingly television-dominated culture was a formidable one.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Bhattacharya, who is also a cricket writer, joked that he was feeling a bit like (Mohinder) Amarnath running through the West Indies line-up in 1983 (when India won the World Cup).

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I have not read this book as yet, but plan on doing so. I am hoping that the author, in his references to Guyana and Guyanese Indian community creates increased awarness about our history, and culture. Too often, "West Indies" conjures images of Blacks, and there is little or no reference to the "Indians" living there. I am not too keen on being called a West Indian. I want to be known as an Indian. So I hope this book brings out some of these beliefs and thinking about Indians in Guyana.

from:  Gopal Rampersaud, Vermont, USA
Posted on: Nov 4, 2011 at 11:57 IST

@GV Rama Rao, @Varum.., exoticise is a trend in art and design, influenced by some ethnic groups or civilizations since the late 19th-century..., in d above context "its consummate artistry, its refusal to exoticise India" as India mostly referred to arts and design country so the word exoticise fits perfectly to this context..., hope u guys got the meaning of it..,

from:  uday
Posted on: Oct 31, 2011 at 11:48 IST

Hi, I also could not find meaning of the word exoticise in dictionaries, I have, but when I searched on Google, I was able find meaning and also correlate meaning to the context above.

from:  Varun
Posted on: Oct 31, 2011 at 11:28 IST

Sir, This is a report about a literary event. Where did you get this word exoticise?I checked various online dictionaries but found no such word in British or American English. Kindly clarify.

from:  GV Rama Rao
Posted on: Oct 31, 2011 at 11:06 IST

Congratulations! :)

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Oct 30, 2011 at 23:03 IST
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