The New India Foundation is delighted to announce the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2020 Longlist

Bangalore, Wednesday, 30th September 2020: The New India Foundation announces the longlist of the third edition of the ‘Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize‘, recognising and celebrating excellence in non-fiction writings on modern/ contemporary India. The longlist of 12 books published in 2019, exhibits a compelling view of the multitude of narratives that exist in and about India.

The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize celebrates high-quality, non-fiction literature by emerging writers from all nationalities, published in the previous calendar year. Instituted in 2018, the Book Prize carries a cash award of INR 15 lacs and a citation.

From this large pool of books encompassing a wide range of topics, the jury longlisted 12 books for the Prize. These showcase a diversity of approaches and themes ─ ranging from political biographies to focussed reportage, anthropology to history, environmental histories to regional studies.

This year’s longlist was selected by our eminent jury including political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal(Chair), historian and critically acclaimed author Ramachandra Guha; entrepreneur and author Nandan Nilekani; historian and author Srinath Raghavan; historian and author Nayanjot Lahiri;  and Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, Teamlease Services.

According to the Jury,

“These excellent books cover a wide array of genres: biographies, investigative reportage, regional histories, environmental studies. They are written by scholars, journalists and activists. It was both exciting and arduous to choose these titles among the over one hundred books submitted for the prize. We congratulate all the authors as well as publishers who feature on the longlist”.

The 2020 longlist is:

  • Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements by Amit Ahuja (Oxford University Press)
  • Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth by Stephen Alter (Aleph)
  • The Great Agrarian Conquest: The Colonial Reshaping of a Rural World by Neeladri Bhattacharya (Permanent Black/State University of New York Press)
  • Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban (Juggernaut)
  • Animal Intimacies: Beastly Love in the Himalayas by Radhika Govindrajan (Penguin Random House)
  • Kuknalim, Naga Armed Resistance: Testimonies of Leaders, Pastors, Healers and Soldiers by Nandita Haksar and Sebastian M. Hongray (Speaking Tiger)
  • A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V.K. Krishna Menon by Jairam Ramesh (Penguin Random House)
  • The Unquiet River: A Biography of the Brahmaputra by Arupjyoti Saikia (Oxford University Press)
  • Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883-1924 by Vikram Sampath (Penguin Random House)
  • Panjab: Journeys through Fault Lines by Amandeep Sandhu (Westland)
  • 2019: How Modi Won India by Rajdeep Sardesai (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India by Arun Mohan Sukumar (Penguin Random House)

The Kamaladevi NIF Book Prize builds on the New India Foundation’s mission of sponsoring high-quality research and writing on all aspects of Independent India. The prize was named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, the great patriot, and institution-builder who had contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, to the women’s movement, to refugee rehabilitation and to the renewal of handicrafts. Previous winners include Milan Vaishnav for his remarkable debut –When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (HarperCollins Publishers) in 2018; and Ornit Shani for her scholarly work- How India Became Democratic (Penguin Random House) in 2019.

The shortlist of 6 titles of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2020 will be announced on 16thNovember 2020.

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