Neelum Saran Gour is the author of Grey Pigeon And Other Stories, Speaking of 62, Winter Companions And Other Stories, Virtual Realities, Sikandar Chowk Park and Song Without End And Other Stories, all published by Penguin India.
Manoranjan Byapari is a writer who has never been to any school. He learnt the alphabet when he was in prison. Having crossed the border with his family after Partition, he lived in a refugee camp till he arrived in Kolkata where he got drawn into the militant political movement of the 1970s. He was awarded the 24 Ghanta Ananya Samman in 2013 and the Suprabha Majumdar Prize by the Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi in 2014.
Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer from Abu Dhabi and a resident of the States. His book Temporary People was the inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. He presently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi.
What the winner said: "The gift of story-telling is innate. But the mind can be tamed. Must be tamed. Each of us needs to find our own method."
What the winner said: "Winning the prize was really wonderful. I believed in the book from day one and went ahead with it. The prize affirms that when you trust in something with your whole heart, you are rarely wrong."
What the winner said: "Short stories, like poetry, are things that are lost not only in translation but also don’t sell. So I am doubly glad this has come my way."
What the winner said: "What the award has done is it has instilled in me a sense of fear. I owe it to The Hindu to write better, write tighter. It has set a benchmark for me, created some pressure, some responsibility. I have to achieve a certain quality in my writing before it reaches the public domain."
What the winner said: "First, Chennai, Thank You! I come to this city and here my name announced by Sharmila Tagore. It doesn’t get better than that. I’ve always thought I will know instinctively what to say at this point, but I don’t. But I must say there are things that are very precious. Most precious of them all is the freedom to think. We must band together to protect everyone’s right to think the way they want to. It is us – all of us – who must protect freedom of speech and expression."
What the winner said: “Literary prizes are welcome, even though they are very much a case of the winner takes all; it would be good if they could somehow honour more than one winner. Being shortlisted does help, it gives the book a bit more visibility… To win a prize like this means a lot to a writer. There is new interest in the book, which is wonderful. The purse is generous and buys you time and space to think about your next work..."
What the winner said: “An award is as good as its shortlist…I agree, a novel is a very difficult exercise. But, at the same time, the canvas of the novel is appealing, its grandeur quite remarkable in itself. A short story is okay but turning a short story into a novel is not easy. And not every short story lends itself to a novel.”