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Author Meghna Pant wins Bharat Nirman Award

01-meghna-pant

Meghna Pant, the award-winning author of ‘One & A Half Wife’, was felicitated with the prestigious ‘Bharat Nirman Award’ for her contribution to the field of literature. The award was given to her by the Bharat Nirman Foundation during the 3rd edition of the Asiad Literature Festival 2017, which aims to reward and empower women and promote the beauty of Indian literature.

The Asiad Literature Festival seeks to felicitate individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in their field of expertise. The noted author was bestowed with the award for her work and contribution as a pioneer amongst women writers. Read more

Source: The Indian Panorama


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Islamic romance novels set hearts aflutter in Bangladesh

Abubakar was inspired to take up the pen in the late 1970s, when as a bookseller he lamented that most novels obsessed with the cosmopolitan lifestyles of modern, elite Bangladeshis

Kasem bin Abubakar was told nobody would buy his chaste romance novels about devout young Muslims finding love within the strict moral confines of Bangladeshi society.

And yet his tales of lovers whispering sweet nothings between calls to prayer sold millions in the 1980s and proved a huge hit among young girls from Bangladesh’s rural, conservative heartland.

Now his work is undergoing something of a renaissance as Bangladesh slides from the moderate Islam worshipped for generations to a more conservative interpretation of the scriptures.

“Girls write me love letters with ink dipped in their own blood. Some were desperate to marry me” Abubakar told AFP, recounting his surprise at young women making a traditional gesture of intense devotion to a greying author. Read more

Source: Dhaka Tribune


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Abu Dhabi Book Fair 2017: Catching up with award-winning Egyptian writer Mohammad Rabie

By Ben East

It was one of the most memorable book reviews of last year. As our critic pondered the English translation of Mohammad Rabie’s award-winning tale of a futuristic Egyptian dystopia, she concluded by saying that “reading Otared is, by and large, like having a hand grasping the back of your head, forcing you to look through photos from hell”.

Seven months later, Rabie is not only familiar with the quote, he also seems to quite like it.

“That was the intention of the book,” he says. “Part of what I wanted to do is draw a painting of a modern hell to the reader.”

He certainly does that. Otared begins with a horrific murder in contemporary Egypt. It then moves forward to an incredibly bleak 2025, with Cairo split into areas occupied by the Knights of Malta and a resistance led by the Egyptian police. But the police are corrupt and their hero is the titular Otared, a sniper shockingly ambivalent about his targets.

The book deservedly earned Rabie a spot on the International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlist last year, which means the 38-year-old Egyptian will be one of the major draws at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which starts on April 26 and continues until May 2 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Read more
Source: The National


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Ipaf winner Mohammed Hasan Alwan’s A Small Death set to be a life-changer

By Saeed Saeed

Mohammed Hasan Alwan looks slightly worried as he holds a buzzing mobile phone.

“I think it is going to explode,” he says. Such is the concern when you have just been announced as the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

The Saudi Arabian author triumphed at the landmark 10th edition of the awards, held in the capital on Tuesday evening.

The success – for his dazzling and meditative novel A Small Death – firmly positions the 38-year-old as one of the leading lights of Arabic literature.

It comes after years of being on the cusp of greatness. This was his second time on the Ipaf shortlist; his novel The Beaver made it to the last six in 2015, and was named the best Arabic novel translated into French that year.

Alwan was also selected as one of the 39 best Arabic writers by the Hay Festival and Beirut World Book Capital, with his work published in the long-running Beirut39 anthology series. Read more

Source: The National


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Oxford poet wins prestigious award

By Lucy Enderby

Poet and director of Oxford Business College Dr Padmesh Gupta is to receive the Padmabhushan Moturi Satyanarayan Award for his poems written in Hindi.

Dr Gupta said: “It was a great honour when I found out. My poetry touches base with simpler life and smaller incidents, which I pick up on. Every day inspires me.

I feel that people living outside India, when they write in Indian languages, bring that culture and literature to so many people.”

The award is similar to the Order of the British Empire, and recognises exceptional contribution to Indian literature. It is part of the Hindi Sevi Samman Awards which are given for the promotion of Hindi abroad. Read more

Source: Cherwell.org

 


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Author Punam Chadha Joseph Presented Women Entrepreneurship Award at 3rd Asiad Literature Festival by Bharat Nirman

Punam Chadha Joseph, the renowned author of “The Soulful Seeker” was felicitated at the 3rd edition of the Asiad Literature Festival by Bharat Nirman, with the prestigious ‘Women Entrepreneurship Award’. The third edition of The Asiad Literature Festival event was held on Sunday, 23rd April at The Nehru Centre, Mumbai by Bharat Nirman to reward and empower women and promote the beauty of Indian Literature.

The Asiad Literature Festival seeks to felicitate individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in their field of expertise. The noted author was bestowed with the award for her work and her contribution as a pioneer amongst women writers. She won the prestigious award along with other renowned authors like Divya Dutta, Meghna Pant mong other talented personalities.

Bharat Nirman the organizer of this lit fest was founded in 1980 by Late CA Sri M.C.Bhandari and has been an active participant in the India growth story through its advocacy role for policy makers and regulators of the country. With a large membership base of more than 25,000 direct and indirect members, Bharat Nirman has forged ahead leveraging its legacy with its concern over making India most powerful country across the globe. Read more

Source: Business World


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National Book Development Council of Singapore shorts lists 6 entries for 2017 Scholastic Picture Book Award (SPBA)

The shortlist for the 2017 Scholastic Picture Book Award (SPBA) was announced on Tuesday by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (the Book Council) at the Makan & Mingle event. SPBA is a joint initiative between the Book Council and Scholastic Asia, the world’s largest children’s books publishing and distribution company.

The award is presented biennially to an outstanding unpublished picture book with distinct Asian themes by a writer and illustrator team of Asian descent living in Asia. As well as a $10,000 cash prize, the winning book will also be published by Scholastic Asia.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairperson of the NBDCS Executive Committee, says, “We at the Book Council are very happy to see so many new and unpublished picture books from around Asia, and that the shortlist reflects this fantastically wide range of talent. We love to see different styles in writing and art, and hope that all of them will eventually be published at some point.”

There were a total of 137 entries from all over Asia, including Bhutan, Singapore, the Philippines, Iran, China, Vietnam, Japan, India, Turkey, and Indonesia. The judges have selected six titles for the shortlist, each from a different country.

Ms Rilla Melati, Singaporean author and publisher, and Chief Judge of the 2017 SPBA, says, “The entries were a joy to read overall, with some of the manuscripts and colourful artwork having the qualities to cross mediums and be turned into children’s apps. It was fantastic to see entries coming in from all over Asia, and to learn about the diverse cultures of different places through their stories and illustrations.” Her fellow judges on the panel include Mr James Foley, author and illustrator from Australia, and Ms Charlene Lai, author, reviewer, and blogger from Taiwan.

The winner of the 2017 SPBA will be announced during Opening Night of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) on 16 May, and will be presented by the evening’s Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Leader of the House, Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien.

 

The Shortlist:

 

Name Title Country
Aytul Akal, Mavisel Yener, Kubra Nur Ozkececi, and Yasemin Yener  

The Flying Grandpa

 

Turkey

 

Emila Yusof

How Rooster Became the Zodiac Animal  

Malaysia

Ho Jia En, Sabrine Ong, Shona Menon, Wong Shu Jing, and Melodie James  

The Little Durian Tree

 

Singapore

Anuradha Ananth Huggler and Shailja Jain Chougule Poorni and Her Peepal Leaf India
Maria Karina Putri The Treasure of Kancil Indonesia
Le Thi Bich Khoa The Whale Whisperer Vietnam

 

About the shortlisted books and their creators:

The Flying Grandpa

An old man is bored and lonely, so he decides to get a job. What follows is a series of mishaps as he tries to get a job at pet shop, patisserie, carpet shop, grocery, music store, florist, toy shop, causing chaos every time. Until he reaches the one place where he might shine: the library.

Writer and translator Aytül Akal started as a journalist, and now has more than 150 stories, picture books, novels, poems and plays for children and young adults, many of which have been translated into German, Spanish, Hungarian, Arabic, Persian, English, and Bulgarian. She was a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2010. She is passionate about promoting reading culture amongst children, and has won several prizes for her devotion to children’s books.

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AFCC Asian Children’s Book Award shortlists Writers, Illustrators, and Translators of the Best Picture Book in Asia

The shortlist for the 2017 AFCC Asian Children’s Book Award by Genting Singapore (ACBA) was announced on Tuesday by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (the Book Council) at the Makan & Mingle event. ACBA is a joint initiative between the Book Council and Genting Singapore, a Singapore-based regional leisure, hospitality and integrated resorts development specialist.

This is a new award presented to an outstanding published picture book with distinct Asian themes by a writer, illustrator, and translator team of Asian descent living in Asia. The writer, illustrator, and translator of the winning book will each receive a $10,000 cash prize. In the case of the winning title not being officially translated, the $10,000 translator prize will instead be used as grant for the publisher of the winning work to commission and publish a translation of the book.

Ms Claire Chiang, Chairperson of the NBDCS Executive Committee said, “Translation is very important to the Book Council. Asia is such a wide and diverse place with varied people and myriad languages, and reading each other’s stories is the first step in understanding each other. We are happy to have Genting Singapore as our partner for this award, and are delighted that recognizing great Asian picture books is important to them as well.”

There were a total of 245 entries from all over Asia, the most for any Book Council award in its awards programme history, including Bangladesh, Singapore, the Philippines, Lebanon, China, Thailand, Russia, India, Syria, and Malaysia. The judges have selected six titles for the shortlist.

Mr Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong-based author of numerous children’s books, and Chief Judge of the 2017 ACBA, says, “The entries were excellent and we judges had a tough job trying to choose only six titles for the shortlist. In the past, books for young readers in this region tended to be folk tale collections with art in dated styles. But this year, the competition has drawn beautiful books with stunning artwork and original, imaginative stories which really transport the reader to new worlds.”

His fellow judges on the panel are: Mr James Mayhew, award-winning author and illustrator from the United Kingdom; Mr Lee Kow Fong, Singaporean author and illustrator; Ms Petra Nagyová Džerengová, author and publisher from Slovakia; and Ms Nanami Kasasaki, Senior Vice President, Genting Singapore Corporate Planning.

The winner of the 2017 ACBA will be announced during Indonesia Night of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) on 19 May, and will be presented by the evening’s Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

The Shortlist:

 

Name Title Country
J.H. Low Night in the Gardens Singapore
Hsin-Yu Sun Home Taiwan
 

Adeline Foo and Beth Parrocha

 

Tiny Feet, Tiny Shoes

Singapore/ Philippines
Chiki Kikuchi Chikibam Meow Japan
 

Eve Aw and Tan Yun Ru

Grandma and Things that Stay the Same  

Singapore

Nari Hong Don’t Be Sorry, Dad! South Korea

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Vietnam: Mai Văn Phấn poet wins Cikada award

Hải Phòng-based Mai Văn Phấn has become the second poet from Việt Nam to be honoured with the prestigious Cikada Prize.

Established in 2004, the Cikada Prize is awarded to an East Asian poet who “in his/her poems shows poetic sensitivity for the inviolability of life”. The prize was founded on the 100th birth anniversary of Swedish Nobel Prize laureate (in literature, 1974) Harry Martinson. The winner gets SEK 20,000 (US$2,200) and a ceramic art piece made by Swedish artist Gunilla Sundström.

The Swedish Institute finances the award, which is presented by the Ambassador or Consul General of Sweden in the country where the recipient resides. Read more

Source: Vietnam News

 


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South Indian literary festival from April 9

To commemorate contribution of Kesari to Malayalam language

Writer Sethu will lead the maiden Kesari Memorial South Indian Literary Festival that will get under way at Madavanaparambu, the resting place of the maverick thinker and writer Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, on April 9.

The three-day festival will see participation by about 50 writers, poets, journalists and critics from the five south Indian languages.

Held primarily to commemorate the stupendous contribution of Kesari to Malayalam language and culture as also to celebrate the rich cultural and trade heritage of the Paravur region wherein the erstwhile port of Muziris falls, the festival will uniquely discuss the writings of Kesari, the contemporariness of literature, new fiction and reading, issues of art depiction and freedom, tradition and secularism and the present state of literature in the south besides the heritage of Paravur. Read more

Source: The Hindu