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City-based writer bags prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva award

SHILLONG: Shillong-based short storyteller Janice Pariat was honoured with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (SAYP) for her book Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories at a function in New Delhi last week.
She is the first-ever recipient of this award from Meghalaya. Her award winning book was earlier long-listed for this year’s Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award alongside another famous Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri.
Boats on Land is a collection of 15 stories set in and around Shillong, Cherrapunjee and pockets of Assam. The tales span the course of a century, beginning in the 1850s and ending in the contemporary, modern world.
The SAYP is presented to writers below the age of 35 years mainly for their first book in English language. The Akademi also awards authors for their work published in any of the 24 Indian languages recognized by it.
Sixteen books of poetry, one novel, five books of short stories and one of literary criticism have won the Akademi awards this year. Among the winners are Akhom Yandibala Devi (Manipuri), Bijoy Sankar Barman (Assamese), Subhro Bandopadhyay (Bengali), Dheeraj Kesar Nikka (Dogri), Ashok Chavda Bedil (Gujrati), Archana Bhensare (Hindi), Lakkur Ananda (Kannada), Saba Shaheen (Kashmiri), Moid Rasheedi (Urdu), Yogini Borkar (Konkani), Dilip Kumar Jha Lootan (Maithili), Ravi Korde (Marathi), Harpreet Kaur (Punjabi), Kumar Ajay (Rajasthani), Raj Kumar Mishra (Sanskrit), Kathir Bharathi (Tamil) and Manthri Krishna Mohan (Telugu).
Those who have won the award for their collection of short stories, apart from Janice Pariat, include PV Shajikumar (Malyalam), Suraj Dhadkan (Nepali), Ksetrabasi Naik (Odia) and Lalchand Saren (Santali).
According to the SAYP procedure, the executive board declares the awards on the basis of unanimous or selection made on the basis of majority votes made by a three member jury in each of the 24 languages.
The awards carry a form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000.

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