First-time writer Avni Doshi has been awarded the 2013 Tibor Jones South Asia prize for Girl in White Cotton at the Appejay Kolkata Literary Festival.
The prize comprises Rs 100,000 and literary representation by Tibor Jones and Associates, a leading London literary agency that represents writers like Wilbur Smith and Rem Koolhaas.
Doshi’s manuscript was unanimously voted the best by a panel of five judges.
Urvashi Butalia, the chair of the panel of judges, said: ‘We felt that Doshi’s manuscript was different. It was elegant, well-crafted, precise and complex’.
Apart from writer-publisher Butalia, the judges included Jon Cook, emiritus professor at the University of East Anglia; Faiza Sultan Khan, critic and editor at Random House-India; Anosh Irani, award-winning Vancouver-based playwright and novelist and writer-critic Neel Mukherjee.
The panel said it had received more than 100 manuscripts of full-length novels, of which six were shortlisted.
The shortlist also included Anatomy of Self by Devdan Chaudhuri, Third Person Singular by Ayesha Heble, Ashes, Wine and Dust by Kanza Javed, Arjun by Olivier Sanjay Lafont and Lovers Like You and I by Minakshi Thakur. The finalists will be encouraged to apply for the 10,000 pounds Charles Pick South Asia Fellowship at the University of East Anglia.
The prize entered its second year 2013. It is open to unrepresented South Asian writers with a completed draft of an unpublished novel.
Last year, Srikumar Sen and Rohit Manchanda jointly won the award.