Sahitya Akademi awards for Nayak and Narlikar

Nayak is a Kannada critic

Sahitya Akademi awards for Nayak and Narlikar

Eminent Kannada critic and essayist G H Nayak has been picked for the Sahitya Akademi Award 2014 for his collection of essays titled     ‘Uttaraardha’.

Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, an eminent astrophysicist, was also chosen for the prestigious award for his autobiography in Marathi, Chaar Nagarantale Maaze Viswa, Sahitya Akademi announced here on Friday.

While Nayak is known for giving a new direction to the field of cultural criticism in Kannada literature, Narlikar, founder of the inter-university centre for astronomy and astrophysics in Pune, is among the few Indian writers  famous for writing science fiction. Subhash Chandra, a Malayalam writer and a journalist, won the prestigious award for his novel Manushyanu Oru Amukham while eminent Tamil writer Poomani for his novel Agngnaadi.

Poets have dominated the awards this year. Eight books of poetry, five novels, three essays, three short stories as well as one each of literary criticism, autobiography and play won the award. The awards, to be presented to the winners at a special function on March 9, 2015 during the Festival of Letters organised by Sahitya Akademi, carries a cheque of Rs 1 lakh, a shawl and a casket containing an engraved copper plaque. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald in Mysore, octogenarian Nayak said that he was happy to bag the award in his lifetime. “I know the standard of my writing. I would have been happy if the award was conferred when I was young,” he said.

“I am surprised and happy,” Dr Narlikar, 76, said in Pune. “In the book, I have written about the four cities where I lived - Benaras (Varanasi), Cambridge, Mumbai and Pune....I have some great and wonderful memories,” he said.

Famous poet-winners this year are Utpal Kumar Basu (Bengali), Urkhao Gwra Brahma (Bodo), Adil Jussawalla (English), Shad Ramzan (Kashmiri), Gopalkrushna Rath (Odia), Jaswinder (Punjabi), Gope Kamal (Sindhi) and Munawwar Rana (Urdu).  Shailender Singh, senior superintendent of police in Jammu and Kashmir, won the award for his novel in Dogri, along with other famous novelists Ramesh Chandra Shah (Hindi) and Asha Mishra (Maithili).

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