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Indian author on Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize shortlist

By September 13, 2019January 13th, 2024No Comments

Source : Times of India

Aanchal Malhotra’s book ‘Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided’ has been shortlisted for the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.

Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding is an annual prize by the British Academy that awards a non-fiction book that promotes global cultural understanding.

According to their website the panel looks for a book that, “contributes to public understanding of world cultures. It is designed to illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide.”

Professor Sir David Cannadine, a Historian and President of the British Academy, said, “Each of the writers nominated for this year’s prize encourages the reader to trace the remarkable ways in which ideas are transmitted beyond borders, dynasties and ages.”

He went on to say, “Such rigorous, timely and original non-fiction writing provides the rich context the global community needs to discuss and debate present-day challenges. Each of the writers nominated for this year’s prize encourages the reader to trace the remarkable ways in which ideas are transmitted beyond the confines of borders, dynasties and ages.

“As the voice for the humanities and social sciences, the British Academy is proud to celebrate the most illuminating examples of literature and academic inquiry that foster global cultural understanding. I wish to express sincere gratitude to Nayef Al-Rodhan for his role in establishing this important prize.”

‘Remnants of Partition’ looks at partition from the items people managed to bring with them, like a notebook of poems, brought from Lahore to Kalyan or refugee certificate created in Calcutta. With the stories behind these inherited items, the book tells of the turmoil of partition, evoking emotions today for all these possessions still exist.

The British Academy tweeted a book review by Publishers Weekly that said the book is a “reverential oral history that explores the reverberating impact of the brutal partition of India and Pakistan through objects carried across the new border”

The author Aanchal Malhotra tweeted that she was ‘thrilled’ to be on the shortlist.

The other books shortlisted are ‘The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity’ by Kwame Anthony Appiah, ‘How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy’ by Julian Baggini, ‘A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution’ by Toby Green, ‘Maoism: A Global History’ by Julia Lovell, and ‘Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture’ by Ed Morales.

The jury this year consists of Professor Ash Amin, Professor Rana Mitter FBA, Dame Henrietta Moore, Professor Patrick Wright FBA and Madeleine Bunting. The chair of the jury, Professor Ash Amin FBA said, “The jury has selected a shortlist of six exceptional books that is far-reaching in scope, purpose and purchase. Each beautifully crafted book has been chosen for its meticulous and original research. It is a shortlist that we hope will spark curiosity, promote dialogue and inspire readers to look to other cultures to find answers to the big questions about the world today. These are the workings of great minds.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the British Academy in London on 30th October. There will be a panel discussion with the shortlisted writers, chaired by Fatima Manji. The winner will be awarded £25,000.

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