Deepak Unnikrishnan was announced as the winner of the Hindu Prize 2017 for his book of stories about migrant workers in the Gulf states, Temporary People, in Chennai, on January 15. Simmering with a quiet rage and surreal transformations, the book has been lauded for its depiction of stories that rarely find representation in fiction. The jury for the prize was made up of Ananya Vajpeyi, Chandan Gowda, Gauri Viswanathan, Jonathan Gil Harris and Kamini Mahadevan.
Unnikrishnan’s parents moved to Abu Dhabi shortly after he was born in India and he spent his childhood and early years there before moving to the United States. “For me, it was really important to document people like my parents in the Gulf, who worked hard for their children. One reason this award feels important to me is, because of the eminent names along with mine in the shortlist,” Unnikrishnan said, while accepting the award at the Hindu Lit For Life festival.
The second day of the festival also included a ceremony for Sahitya Akademi-winning Tamil playwright and writer Indira Parthasarathy, who was awarded the Hindu Tamil Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winners of the Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Awards, which recognise the best children’s books in India, were also announced on January 15. Chatura Rao won the award for Best Picture Book (Story) Gone Grandmother. Nancy Raj won the Best Picture Book (Illustrations) award for Maharani the Cow. The award for Best Book (Fiction) was shared by Nandhika Nambi for her book Unbroken and Mini Shrinivasan for The Boy With Two Grandfathers. Devika Cariapa won the prize for Best Book (Non-fiction) for her book India through Archaeology: Excavating History. The prizes were awarded by writer Paro Anand.