Indian Parashar Kulkarni in the first week of May 2016 won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for 2016, for the Asia region. He was awarded for his politically grounded unpublished short fiction 'Cow and Company'.
He will receive a cash prize of 2500 pounds (3835 US dollars).
The story 'Cow and Company' narrates the story of four men in search of a cow. The story manages to keep the reader engaged through twists and turns show the connections between culture and commercial interests.
Parashar Kulkarni is an assistant professor in Social Sciences at Yale NUS College Singapore.
Other Regional Winners
He is one of the five winners of 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Winners from other four regions are:
• Faraaz Mahomed - ‘The Pigeon’ with its playful tone and unreliable narrator
• Stefanie Seddon - Eel, a simply told and moving story of childhood
• Lance Dowrich - comedic ‘Ethelbert and the Free Cheese’
• Tina Makereti - ‘Black Milk’, which impressed with a lyricism that takes the reader into another world while keeping them always on earth
Now the regional winners will compete with each other for being selected as the overall winner of the 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. This will be announced at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica on 5 June 2016.
The overall winner will receive 5000 pounds (7670 US dollars).
Indians shortlisted for the prize
Other Indian authors, who were shortlisted for the award in the regional shortlist include
• Kritika Pandey for Dirty White Strings
• Sumit Ray for Girdhars Mansion
• Vinayak Varma for Instant Karma
Besides, Arunava Sinha (a noted Indian translator) was also shortlisted for translation of Bangladeshi writer Sumon Rahman's short story 'Niroporadh Ghum' (Innocent Sleep).
About Commonwealth short story prize
• Commonwealth Writers is the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation.
• It was set up in 2012 to inspire and connect writers and storytellers across the world.
• In its fifth year, the prize is for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000-5000 words) in English.
• Short stories that are translated into English from other languages are eligible too.
• It is judged by an international panel of writers, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth, namely, Asia, Africa, Cananda and Europe, Caribbean and the Pacific.
• Chair of the judging panel is South African novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo.
• Commonwealth Writers has partnered with Granta magazine to give regional winners of Commonwealth Short Story Prize the opportunity to be published by Granta online.
• The commonwealth writers also invite writers from Mozambique who write in Portuguese as well as writers who write in Swahili and Bengali, and who do not have an English translation of their story.
• If the winning short story is a translation into English, the translator will receive equal prize money. Entry is free.
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When: May 2016