The shortlist for the third edition of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, that celebrates fine non-fiction writings on modern/contemporary India, was announced today.
The six shortlisted books are Amit Ahuja’s Mobilising the Marginalised: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements (Oxford University Press); Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India by Arun Mohan Sukumar (Penguin Random House); Arupjyoti Saikia’s The Unquiet River: A Biography of the Brahmaputra (Oxford University Press); former Union minister Jairam Ramesh’s A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon (Penguin Random House); Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban (Juggernaut) and Stephen Alter’s Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth (Aleph).
Announcing the shortlist, this year’s jury, comprising writer Ramachandra Guha, entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani, historians Nayanjot Lahiri and Srinath Raghavan, entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal and chaired by political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, said, “The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay prize shortlist demonstrates the range and quality of non-fiction writing about modern India, from political biography to the sociology of politics, from investigative journalism to the history of ecology and of technology”.
Now in its third year, previous winners of the prize include Milan Vaishnav for his When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (HarperCollins) in 2018 and Ornit Shani for How India Became Democratic (Penguin Random House) last year. This year’s winner will be announced early next month. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.
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