04 December, 2010

The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2010 - Winner

Following Fish wins Shakti Bhatt prize

Samanth Subramanian's debut book Following Fish has won the 2010 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize.

Currently Deputy Editor at Mint, the New Delhi-based business newspaper, Subramanian has an undergraduate degree in journalism from Penn State University and a Master's in international relations from Columbia.

The six books in this year's shortlist were Homeboy by HM Naqvi; House on Mall Road by Mohyna Srinivasan; Songs of Blood and Sword, A Daughter's Memoir by Fatima Bhutto; The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi, and Delhi Calm by Vishwajyoti Ghosh. But the judges (playwright Mahesh Dattani, writer and surgeon Kalpana Swaminathan and novelist Ruchir Joshi) unanimously agreed on Following Fish.

“A delightful read, adventurous and unabashedly fun,” they said. “As Samanth Subramanian chases fish curry round coastal India, his instinct for the apt word and the telling phrase keeps the narrative taut. The book is full of colourful personalities – Subramanian brings us in close contact with people who charm and sometimes dismay, and each encounter seduces us with a new anecdote or a new dish. Comic, and picaresque, with many surprise nettings of wisdom, Following Fish is a sparkling debut by a talented writer.”

In its third year, the prize is a cash award of one lakh rupees and a trophy.

The award function will be held at the British Council, New Delhi, December 10 at 7.30pm.