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Indian authors bag prestigious award

Three Indians have stormed through the prestigious Grinzane Cavour literary awards in Italy by winning three prizes. The awards, which had never had an Indian winner in their 24-year history, recognise both established and outstanding new writers. The closest an Indian has come to winning an award was when that eminent literary figure of Indian extraction, Sir Vidia Naipaul, was recognised by the juries in Italy.

Following in Sir Vidia's footsteps this year are Anita Desai whose lifelong contribution to literature was recognised with "Una vita per la letterature" -- translated as "A Life for Literature" -- award. In contrast to Anita Desai's substantial corpus of published works, the "Debutant Author Prize" was awarded to two new authors, Rupa Bajwa for "The Sari Shop" and Siddarth Shanghvi for "The Last Song".

The award, which takes its name from the historic Grinzano Cavour Castle in the heart of the Piedmont region, has historic connotations. This was where the first revolutionary wars broke out that resulted after some 30 years of bloodshed in a unified Italy in 1861.

Living up to its revolutionary credentials, the literary awards rely not just on established literary figures and critics as jurors. A second panel drawn from Italian and foreign students studying locally also judge the selected works. In doing so they ensure that the works that win are not just the preserve of fussy literary elites but that they will be read and enjoyed by a younger generations of readers. -- Staff Reporter

-- Staff Reporter

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