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Raj Kamal Jha’s The City and the Sea gets Book of the Year award in fiction

Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor, The Indian Express, won the Book of the Year Award in the fiction category for his fifth novel, The City and the Sea (Penguin Random House).

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: November 18, 2019 6:15:18 am
The Indian Express Chief Editor Raj Kamal Jha (centre) with authors and jury members Jerry Pinto and Arshia Sattar at the award ceremony in Mumbai on Sunday. (Express)

“Why I write in Marathi has nothing to do with either the hierarchy of languages or the politics of language. I write in Marathi simply because I love the language. Each language has its own rhythms and cadences. So if I have the chance to play with these things in two languages, Marathi and English, why not take it?,” said Shanta Gokhale in her acceptance speech at the Tata Literature Live! Awards on Sunday evening.

The 80-year-old Marathi and English-language writer, translator, theatre critic and playwright was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th edition of the literary festival, which also recognised the works of several other writers from varying genres in a number of categories.

Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor, The Indian Express, won the Book of the Year Award in the fiction category for his fifth novel, The City and the Sea (Penguin Random House).

The story that Jha’s book tells will resonate beyond this year, said jury member and writer Arshia Sattar, as she announced the prize.

“The minute Raj sent us this story, we knew we had to publish it. We believe it is an important book for our times and as the jury said, a book for all time,” said Meru Gokhale, publisher, Penguin Press Group, Penguin Random House India.

The Big Little Book Award for Hindi and English children’s literature went to Prabhat and Priya Kuriyan, respectively. The best Business Book of the Year was awarded to Raghunath Mashelkar and Ravi Pandit’s Leapfrogging to Pole-vaulting: Creating the Magic of Radical and Sustainable Transformation. This was followed by the award for the best First Book in fiction and non-fiction — Madhuri Vijay won for her debut novel, The Far Field, and Ashok Alexander won for A Stranger Truth: Lessons in Love, Leadership and Courage from India’s Sex Workers.

Tony Joseph won the Book of the Year award in the non-fiction category for Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Come From. The final prize, the Publisher of the Year, was awarded to Penguin Random House.

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