An extensive range of works representing diversity in contemporary Indian literature, comprising seven collections of poetry, six novels, six short story collections, three works of literary criticism and two collections of essays were announced on Wednesday as the winners of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award 2018 in 24 languages.
The awards were recommended by jury members in respective languages and were then approved by the Executive Board of India’s national academy of letters under the chairmanship of Akademi President Chandrashekhar Kambar.
Winners include Anees Saleem in English, Rama Kant Shukla in Sanskrit, Rajesh Kumar Vyas in Rajasthani, Rahman Abbas in Urdu, Lok Nath Upadhyay in Nepali, Chitra Mughal in Hindi and S. Ramakrishnan in Tamil. Akademi Secretary K. Sreenivasarao said at a press conference announcing the winners that the books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in each language in accordance with the rules.
The awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of award, between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The awards, in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh, will be presented to the authors at a special function in January next year at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi.
The Sahitya Akademi award is among the most prestigious literary honours bestowed on writers for their works across genres and languages.
The Akademi also announced its Bhasha Samman for the year 2017 and 2018. Yogendra Nath Sharma was awarded the Bhasha Salman for the North zone, G Venkatasubbiah for South zone, Gajendra Nath Das for the Eastern zone; and Shailaja Bapat for the Western zone.
The Akademi will also be hosting a national seminar on Mahatma Gandhi in January next year, tracing his presence in the literary space.