Meet the panel of distinguished judges has selected the five books from which the winner of The Hindu Prize for Best Fiction 2013 will finally be chosen.

The panel comprised Malayalam poet, author and critic K. Satchidanandan, poet and writer Arundhathi Subramaniam, author Timeri N. Murari, surgeon and novelist Kavery Nambisan and writer and critic Geeta Doctor.

K. Satchidanandan is perhaps the most translated of contemporary Indian poets, having 23 collections of translation in 19 languages. He writes poetry in Malayalam and prose in Malayalam and English. His book While I Write: New and Selected Poems (Harper Collins) came out in 2011. He has lectured and read his poetry across the world. He was a professor of English, and later the chief executive of the Indian National Academy of Literature (Sahitya Akademi) and the Director of the School of Translation Studies, IGNOU, Delhi. He has won 27 literary awards including the Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Sahitya Akademi award (five times), Kusumagraj National Award, NTR National award, Bharateey Bhasha Parishad Award, Knighthood of the Order of Merit from the Government of Italy and India-Poland Friendship Medal from the Government of Poland.

Arundhathi Subramaniam is a poet and writer who has worked as curator, critic and poetry editor. As poet, she is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Where I Live: New and Selected Poems. As editor, her books include Another Country: An Anthology of Post-Independence Indian Poetry in English; an anthology on sacred journeys, Pilgrim's India; and a co-edited anthology on contemporary love poems, Confronting Love. As prose writer, her books include the bestselling biography of a contemporary mystic, Sadhguru: More Than A Life and The Book of Buddha.

She is the recipient of the Raza Award for Poetry, the Homi Bhabha fellowship, the Charles Wallace Fellowship and the Visiting Arts Fellowship. She has been Editor of the India domain of the Poetry international Web for several years, as well as Head of Chauraha (an interactive arts forum) and Indian Dance at the NCPA, Bombay.

Timeri N. Murari was for many years a journalist writing for The Guardian, The Sunday Times and Observer in London before he moved to New York, where he made documentary films for British television. He has written 18 books of fiction and non-fiction. His bestselling Taj: A Story of Mughal India has been translated into 25 languages. He is also the writer and producer of The Square Circle one of Time’s "ten best films of the year" in 1997. He adapted it for the stage and directed it as the Leicester Haymarket theatre with Parminder Nagra in the lead role. In 2002, he was presented with the R.K.Narayanan Award for his his contributions to writing, cinema and theatre. Aleph will publish his new novel, Chanakya Returns, later this year.

Kavery Nambisan is a surgeon and novelist. She has spent most of her professional life in rural areas and her fiction is strongly coloured by this experience. Currently, she runs a rural hospital in Kodagu district in Karnataka. She has written six novels, all of which are published by Penguin India. Her last novel, The Story That Must Not Be Told, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the DSC South Asian Literary Prize. Her next novel, A Town Like Ours, will be published in April 2014 by Aleph Publications.

Geeta Doctor is a journalist and writer. She is also a noted reviewer of literature. She has written extensively on art and architecture; on food and travel; as well as children’s stories. She describes herself as a journalist whose commentaries on life, literature and society have always sought to be incisive and insightful. She received the Angarag lifetime achievement award 2008 for her contribution to journalism. She published a volume of poems in 2013 entitled What We Leave Behind. Geeta lives in Chennai.

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