As a natural extension of this concern with good literature, The Hindu Best Fiction Award was instituted in 2010. In its inaugural edition it was open to any work of full-length fiction written by an Indian national holding a valid Indian passport, published between June 2009 and July 2010.
There were two panels of judges last year: one to decide the short-list, consisting Shreekumar Varma, novelist, Parvati Nayar, artist and critic, K. Srilata, fiction writer, poet and academic and Ranveer Shah, Founder, Prakriti Foundation Chennai. The eleven short-listed novels were: The Thing about Thugs by Tabish Khair, Way to Go by Upamanyu Chatterjee, If I Could Tell You by Soumya Bhattacharya, The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi, Eunuch Park by Palash Krishna Mehrotra, Neti, Neti by Anjum Hasan, The To-Let House by Daisy Hasan, Venus Crossing by Kalpana Swaminathan, Come, Before Evening Falls by Manjul Bajaj, Serious Men by Manu Joseph and Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph.
Manu Joseph's Serious Men won the Prize, with the award ceremony being held on Chennai on November 1. Shashi Deshpande, Brinda Bose, Mukul Kesavan and Jai Arjun Singh were the panel of judges that chose the winner. The award was given away by eminent author Nayantara Sehgal.
This year, The Hindu Literary Prize has been instituted in order to accommodate separate awards for more categories (like short fiction, perhaps poetry, translation etc). This year only The Hindu Literary Prize for Best Fiction is on offer though and novels, short story collections both in English and those translated from other Indian languages, published between June 2010 and June 2011 are eligible. We have received around 130 nominations this year. There is only one panel of judges to decide both the short-list and the final winner. The short-list will be announced at the Lit for Life literary conclave to be held in New Delhi on September 25, with the winner being announced at the Chennai edition of the conclave, being held on October 29-30.