By Dr Tania Saili Bakshi
Dehradun, 18 Apr: Forty odd publishers, over four hundred books! Keeping its date with tradition, the Valley of Words Literature Festival received an overwhelming response for its 2022 PFC-VoW book awards given under eight categories.
In its sixth year running, the literary festival has grown in leaps and bounds creating new milestones along the way. The 2022 PFC-VoW Book Awards are being given to eight authors under the following categories: English Fiction, English Non-Fiction, Hindi Fiction, Hindi Non-fiction, Translation from regional languages into Hindi, Translation from regional languages into English, Writing for Young Adults and Picture/Children’s Books.
The long list of close to twenty books in each category was dispatched to a jury from all over the country and abroad. The jury has the uphill task of selecting ‘five best’ shortlisted books by mid-June. The final winner under each of the eight categories will then be announced at the grand finale to be held in November in Dehradun from 11 -13 November.
Together with its knowledge partner, the National Digital Library of India, the Valley of Words team plans to announce the shortlist during the four weekends of National Reading Month, starting 19 June in honour of PN Panicker, the father of the Library and Literacy Movement in Kerala.
Talking about this year’s long list, Festival Director Dr Sanjeev Chopra said, ‘I am overwhelmed by the response – we have some of the finest authors from across genres and across languages- almost every book which has been reviewed and discussed in the calendar year 2021 finds its place in the nominations. The Indian publishing industry certainly deserves a bouquet for all the offerings it has placed before the reading public.”
The Jury consists of people who have left an indelible mark in their chosen field. These are Prof Garima Srivastava: Hindi Fiction; Professor at JNU, eminent writer of Hindi. She has worked in many languages i.e. Hindi, Bengali. Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed: English Non-Fiction; Professor Emeritus, eminent political scientist and historian, winner of the PFC VoW Book Award 2021. Menaka Raman: Young Adults; former advertising copywriter, communications consultant and columnist, winner of the PFC VoW Book Award 2021. Padmaja Ghorpade: Translations from regional languages into Hindi; Retired associate professor, Founder & President – ‘Parikrama’ Trust, eminent author, winner of the PFC VoW Book Award 2021.
Paro Anand: Picture/Children Books; author of children’s books, young adults including novels, short stories and plays, winner of PFC VoW Book Award 2021. Rajeev Sharma: Hindi Non-Fiction; poet, globe trotter, wildlife photographer, an administrator, winner of the PFC VoW Book Award 2021. Ranjita Biswas: Translations from regional languages into English; well-known author, independent journalist and award winning translator of fiction from Assamese, winner of the PFC VoW Book Award 2021. Dr Surekha Dangwal: English Fiction; academic, author and Vice Chancellor of the Doon University, Dehradun.