Celebration of literary talent

intellectual Amitav Ghosh and Tom Alter. dh photos by dinesh s k

The Indiaplaza Golden Quill Book Awards 2009 were given out to Indian authors domiciled in India in both the fiction and non-fiction category at a glittering ceremony held at the ITC Windsor. The winners were decided by an eminent jury comprising Mukund Padmanabhan, Shanta Gokhale and Tom Alter.

In addition, there was a Reader’s Choice Award 2009 both in fiction and non-fiction categories that were decided by the readers through an online process set up by Indiaplaza. The chosen authors were given a citation, a trophy and cash prize each.
“The focus this year is on books written by Indian authors domiciled in India in both fiction and non-fiction. And we are proud to announce that we have added a new category of non-fiction to enhance the scope and the reach of this award and also to introduce new books and authors to the readers,” said Arundhati Ghosh, deputy director - India Foundation for Arts, and external advisor and counsellor, who was responsible for overseeing the awards and ensuring the  transparency of process.
In the fiction category, the shortlisted books included: Ammi by Saeed Mirza, In The Country of Deceit - Shashi Deshpande, Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh and The Immigrant - Manju Kapoor.

In the non fiction category, the shortlisted books included Imagining India - Nandan Nilekani, Go Kiss the World -Subroto Bagchi, Red Sun - Sudeep Chakravarti and Curfewed Night - Basharat Peer. The authors, who were present like Saeed Mirza, Shashi Deshpande, Amitav Ghosh and Sudeep Chakravarti, treated the gathering to a reading of excerpts from their books. Nilekani and Manju Kapoor, however, made their presence by reaching out to the audience through a video telecast.
The ultimate winners were Nandan Nilekani in the non fiction category and Amitav Ghosh who walked away with both the jury’s award as well as the readers’ choice award for his book Sea of Poppies. While Nilekani thanked and acknowledged Indiaplaza for the award through speaker phone, Amitav Ghosh took to the stage and warmly thanked his peers, the organisers and the readers who supported his work.
The whole event was a well-orchestrated celebration of Indian literary talent.
Many of those present bought specially autographed copies of the books that were on display while interacting with the authors who were present.

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