Anees Salim is a college dropout turned ace advertising professional, and published not one but four novels in quick succession. Born in southern Kerala, he works and leads a reclusive life in Kochi.

He left his studies at 16 to become an author and spent his adolescent days travelling across India, seeing places and meeting people. After chasing publishers in vain for decades, his life changed when three of his manuscripts were picked up by major publishers in the same month.

He has written four novels and he is currently writing his fifth. His published works include The Vicks Mango Tree (HarperCollins), Vanity Bagh (Picador) and Tales from a Vending Machine (HarperCollins). His fourth novel, The Blind Lady’s Descendants (Tranquebar) will be published in 2014.

Vanity Bagh, his second novel, has been shortlisted for The Hindu Prize for Best Fiction 2013. It has largely been described as a dark comic tale. From a review in Frontline, the story is about “how innocence gets punished in a world growing more and more absurd, and what ails the systems of justice we have created.”

Read the full article here.

Advertising is the only profession Anees would choose and he currently heads the creative department of DRAFT FCB ULKA, Kochi where he started his career as a trainee copywriter.

Others on the shortlist include Manu Joseph (The Illicit Happiness of Other People), Manjul Bajaj (Another Man's Wife and Other Stories), Sonora Jha (Foreign) and Amandeep Sandhu (Roll of Honour).

Read The Hindu's review of Vanity Bagh here and an interview with the author here.

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The Hindu Prize 2013 ShortlistNovember 9, 2013

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