Tamil feminist writer Ambai, Kannada biographer DS Nagabhushan, Telugu poet Goreti Venkanna and English writer Namita Gokhale, among others, are this year’s recipients of the Sahitya Akademi Prize. The award was announced Thursday for literary works in 20 languages.
This year, seven collections of poetry, two novels, five short stories, two plays, a biography and an autobiography, a book on criticism and a poem were chosen for the prize. Awards in Gujarati, Maithili, Manipuri and Urdu languages will be announced at a later date. The winners will receive a cash prize of Rs 1,000,000.
The other winners are Mwdai Gahai (Bodo), Sanjiv Verenkar (Konkani), Hrushikesl Mallick (Odia), Meethesh Nirmohi (Rajasthani), Vindeshwariprasad Nishr (Sanskrit), Arjun Chawla (Sindhi), Rahi (Dogri), Kiran Guran )), Khalid Hussain (Punjabi), Niranjan Hansda (Santali), Anuradha Sarma Pujari (Assamese), George Onakkoor (Malayalam), Bratya Basu (Bengali), Daya Prakash Sinha (Hindi), Wali Muhammad Aseer Kishtwari (Kashmir) Upadhyaya (Nepalese).
Speaking of winning the prestigious award for her book Things to Leave Behind, Gokhale said: “To be a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award as an English writer, amidst these books in 22 languages, is a privilege. I believe in the concept of several languages, one literature.
Gokhale’s Book takes place between 1840 and 1912 in the Kumaon region. “He looks at the fragile new modernity that was emerging at that time. It examines colonial history from the perspective of both the colonizers and Kumaon – my homeland. It has many themes, but the basic story is about three generations of stubborn Kumaon women. There is a particular stubbornness that characterizes mountain women, ”she told The Indian Express.
Much of the book’s content comes from Gokhale’s previous work, Mountain Echoes: Reminiscences of Kumaoni Women, where the author explores the oral history of the Kumaon region through memories of his grandmother and three great aunts. “It gave me an idea of how people lived, especially the women of the house. My great-grandfather, BD Pandey, wrote the first Kumaon story, which was a credible source. Another source was The Himalayan Gazetteer, written by ET Atkinson, ”she said.