Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2022 shortlisted five books this year, of which four books are written by women authors.
recognises and celebrates non-fiction writings on modern and contemporary India.
Accidental Feminism: Gender Parity and Selective Mobility Among India’s Professional Elite by Swethaa S Ballakrishnen, The Chipko Movement: A People’s History by Shekhar Pathak and translated by Manisha Chaudhry, Rukmini S’s Whole Numbers and Half-Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India, Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India by Suchitra Vijayan and Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India by Ghazala Wahab are in contention for the Rs 15-lakh prize.
The award that recognises and celebrates non-fiction writings on modern and contemporary India includes political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal (Chair); entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal; historians Srinath Raghavan and Nayanjot Lahiri, former diplomat Navtej Sarna and attorney Rahul Matthan as the jury members of this year.
The shortlisted books range from histories of nationalism through local voices, to an analysis of an environmental movement, the portrait of a diverse community, and contemporary ideas of feminism and data – all converging towards an optimistic future.
Established in 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize is given for excellence in non-fiction literature about India, published in the previous calendar year by emerging writers of all nationalities.
According to the jury, “This year’s shortlist is extraordinary, in terms of the wide range of themes covered, and the diversity of topics and perspectives. Deeply researched and engagingly written, these books offer keen insights into the making of India today and the transitions it is currently undergoing.” The prize is named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, who had contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, the women’s movement, refugee rehabilitation and the renewal of handicrafts.
Previous winners of the prize include Milan Vaishnav (2018), Ornit Shani (2019), Amit Ahuja and Jairam Ramesh (2020), and Dinyar Patel (2021). This year the winner will be announced on December 1.