The Shakti Bhatt Foundation Monday announced author Tony Joseph’s Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From as the winner of the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019. In this fascinating work, Joseph goes 65,000 years back into the past and concludes that none can claim ownership; and that we are all migrants. It has been published by Juggernaut Books
Fellow judges, Sonia Faleiro and Prayaag Akbar said, “Early Indians is a remarkable exploration of the origins of the first humans who occupied the Indian subcontinent, bringing together a wealth of research from population genetics, archaeology, social history, biology, linguistics and other fields that are proving deeply interconnected. Tony Joseph’s breadth of reading helps him combine insights from older studies of the topic with the latest research, resulting in a deft, compelling and accessible narrative that does not lack in rigour. As the question of origin becomes, increasingly, a tool of politics, Joseph’s book serves as a vital corrective to those who seek to simplify this most complex of subjects.”
Other books in the shortlist were: Babu Bangladeshi by Numair Atif Choudhury (Harper Collins), No Nation for Women by Priyanka Dubey (Simon & Schuster), Goodbye Freddie Mercury by Nadia Akbar (Penguin Random House)and Ib’s Endless Search for Satisfaction by Roshan Ali (Penguin Random House). The prize in is its 12th year this time.
Last year, Sujatha Gidla won for her novel, Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family.