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Valley of Words – Literature & Arts Festival announces Shortlist for ‘PFC-VoW Book Awards 2020’

DEHRADUN, 30 Jun: The advisors and jury members of the Valley of Words (VoW) finalised the shortlist for the PFC-VoW Book Awards at a meeting held on 29 June.
The VoW advisors were led by Principal Advisor Robin Gupta for English and LS Bajpai for Hindi; while the VoW Jury was composed of eminent scholars including Prof Satish Aikant, Dr Jayawanti Dimri and Prof Divya Saksena.
The rigorous selection procedure went on for close to three months. Over four hundred books were nominated to the Festival, from both upcoming and leading publishing houses across the country. The books were extensively read and reviewed by several leading authors, journalists, critics, and retired and serving officers, including faculty members of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, under the auspices of the House Journal Society and the Rahul Sankritayan Manch. The process of reviewing was also carried out by resource persons from the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla; St Stephens College, Delhi; DAV College, ICFAI, UPES and the leading educational institutions of Dehradun.
Valley of Words (VoW) is one of India’s leading Literature and Arts festivals, annually featuring over one hundred authors, poets, thespians, artistes, photographers, philatelists, balladeers, puppeteers, policymakers, diplomats, academics, activists, parliamentarians, jurists and, of course, students and teachers of the leading schools, institutions and academies of Dehradun. It is an ‘open access’ festival which encourages, welcomes and supports inter-generational, inter-genre multilingual dialogues and conversations, and encourages students to volunteer, participate and organise the festival, interact with resource persons and develop listening, writing and conversation skills. This year, the Festival will be held at the Gyanlok Resource Centre and in Panchwati, at the Dehradun Campus of Punjabi University, Patiala, in a hybrid mode that has limited audience, with physical distancing and on interactive online platforms with a global reach.
The PFC-VoW Book Awards is a major highlight of the Festival. Formerly backed by the REC, the Awards are now supported by the Power Finance Corporation.
In his conversation with VoW Connect, the official radio channel of the Festival, RS Dhillon, Chairman, PFC, spoke about how ensuring light to every household leads to providing literacy and that the PFC VoW initiative of spreading literary discourses in all the regional languages: Bangla, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Punjabi and of course Hindi sends out a very positive message, and is in tune with the Prime Minister’s message of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat.
The Awards are conferred upon the best author across the following seven categories, taking into consideration books published in the preceding year: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry); English Non-Fiction; Creative Writing in Hindi (Fiction & Poetry);
Hindi Non-Fiction; Translation from Regional Languages into English; Translation from Regional Languages into Hindi; Writings for Young Adults (English/ Hindi).
The shortlists in the Translations Category from Regional Languages to Hindi and English were announced by Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, while Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for PMO & Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, New Delhi, announced the shortlist in the category of English Fiction & Non-fiction. Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, Indian Council for Cultural Relations announced the Hindi Fiction and Non-Fiction shortlists while Nidhi Moulik, RJ of VoW Connect, announced the shortlist in the category of Writings for Young Adults. The programme was hosted by writer and broadcaster Anjum Sharma, assisted by Shivani and Yauvanika from the VoW Secretariat.
The final broadcast of the PFC-VoW Book Awards Shortlist was done on Aaj Tak Radio Channel on 30 June at 5 p.m.; followed by releases on VoW Connect, Radio Zindagi and other channels.
The finalists will be announced on or before the last day of the Festival, 22 November, 2020.
The shortlist in the various categories is as follows: 
Creative Writing in English (Fiction) – 
1. ‘These, Our Bodies, Possessed By Light’ by Dharini Bhaskar; published by Hachette India.
2. ‘I Have Become the Tide’ by Githa Hariharan; published by Simon & Schuster.
3. ‘Synapse’ by Kalpish Ratna; published by Speaking Tiger.
4. ‘The Radiance of a Thousand Suns’ by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar; published by Harper Collins.
5 ‘A People’s History of Heaven’ by Mathangi Subramaniam; published by Penguin Random House.
English Non-Fiction –
1. ‘Wasted – The Messy Story of Sanitation in India’ by Ankur Bisen; published by Pan Macmillan.
2. ‘Tawaifnama’ by Saba Dewan; published by Westland.
3. ‘The Wild Heart of India’ by TR Shankar Raman; published by Oxford University Press.
4. ‘The Anarchy’ by William Dalrymple; published by Bloomsbury.
5. ‘Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir by Yashica Dutt’; published by Aleph Book Company.
Translation from Regional Languages into English –
1. Sirsho Bandopadhyay’s ‘Tiger Woman; by Arunava Sinha; published by Pan Macmillan.
2. Avadhoot Dongare’s ‘The Story of Being Useless + Three Contexts of a Writer’ by Nadeem Khan; published by Ratna Sagar.
3. Nanak Singh’s ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ by Navdeep Suri; published by Harper Collins.
4. M Mukandam’s ‘The Bells Are Ringing In Haridwar; by Prema Jayakumar; published by Ratna Sagar.
5. Qurratalain Hyder’s ‘Ship of Sorrows’ by Saleem Kidwai; published by Women Unlimited.
Writings for Young Adults (English/Hindi) –
1. ‘Fierce Femmes & Notorious Liars’ by Kai Cheng Thom; published by Zubaan Books.
2. ‘Galiyon Ke Shahzaade’ by Naseera Sharma; published by Prabhat Prakashan.
3. ‘The Daughter from a Wishing Tree’ by Sudha Murthy; published by Puffin (Penguin Random House).
4. ‘Khidhkiyon Se Jhaankti Aankhen’ by Sudha Om Dhingra; published by Shivam Prakashan.
5. ‘A Tigress Called Machhli’ by Supriya Sehgal; published by Hachette India.
6. ‘A Cloud Called Bhura: Climate Champions to the Rescue’ by Bijal Vachharajani; published by Talking Cub (Speaking Tiger).
Creative Writing in Hindi (Fiction & Poetry) –
1. ‘Pani Ko Sab Yaad Tha’ (Poetry) by Anamika; published by Rajkamal Prakashan.
2. ‘Jas Kaa Phool’ by Bhalchandra Joshi; published by Rajkamal Prakashan.
3. ‘Agnileek’ by Hrishikesh Sulabh; published by Rajkamal Prakashan.
4. ‘Jinhen Jurme Ishq Pe Naaz Tha’ by Pankaj Subeer; published by Shivam Prakashan.
5. ‘Keelin’ by SR Harnot; published by Vani Prakashan.
Hindi Non-Fiction –
1. ‘Tumhaari Jay’ by Ashutosh Shukla; published by Prabhat Prakashan.
2. ‘Gyan Ka Gyan’ by Hridaynarayan Dikshit; published by Vani Prakashan.
3. ‘Athashri Prayag Katha’ by Lalit Mohan Rayal; published by Prabhat Prakashan.
4. ‘Bahut Door, Kitna Door Hota Hai’ by Manav Kaul; published by Hind Yugm.
5. ‘Coolie Lines’ by Praveen Kumar Jha; published by Vani Prakashan.
Translation from Regional Languages into Hindi –
1. Vijay Tendulkar’s ‘Ghasiram Kotwal’ by Dr Damodar Khadse; published by Vani Prakashan.
2. Keshav Reddy’s ‘Bhoodevta’ by JL Reddy; published by Rajkamal Prakashan.
3. Basheer’s ‘Basheer: 3 Laghu Upanyaas’ by Dr Santosh Alex; published by Authorspress.
4. Avtar Singh Billing’s ‘Khali Kuon Ki Katha’ by Subhash Neerav; published by Aman Prakashan.
5. Taslima Nasrin’s ‘Besharam’ by Utpal Banerji; published by Rajkamal Prakashan.