Author Janice Pariat wins Sushila Devi Award 2023

Instituted by the Shri Ratanlal Foundation, the award will be presented to her during Bhopal Literature Festival, which will run until January 14

Author Janice Pariat wins Sushila Devi Award 2023

Raghav Chandra, the director of the Bhopal Literature Festival, has announced the Sushila Devi Award for the ‘Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman Author’ for the year 2023. This prize carries a cash award of Rs 2 lakh. Instituted by the Shri Ratanlal Foundation, the award will be presented to Janice during the festival, which will run until January 14, 2024, in Bhopal.

The jury for the Sushila Devi Book Award 2023 decided that the award be given to Janice Pariat for her novel ‘Everything the Light Touches’. This year, it was a close contest between Chitra Banerjee Devkaruni’s ‘Independence’ and Janice Pariat’s novel. Now in its sixth year, the Sushila Devi Award has gained a prestigious position in the literary sphere.

Pariat’s exquisitely composed novel weaves the experiences of four distinct travelers across time and history, creating a captivating narrative that transcends geographical and temporal boundaries. The novel follows Shai as she rediscovers her indigenous heritage in north-east India; Evelyn, a Cambridge student inspired by Goethe’s botanical writings; the recounting of Goethe’s journey to Italy in the 1770s and Linnaeus, the botanist and taxonomist leading an expedition to Lapland. Through a sophisticated and intricate narrative, Janice Pariat presents a new philosophical meaning to life, linking humans to nature and travel to self-discovery.

The novel explores the delicate balance between self-discovery through diverse experiences, seamlessly connecting multiple narrators. Pariat skillfully portrays the interdependence of the abstract and the concrete, revealing the consequences of human rapacity on nature. ‘Everything the Light Touches’ is a profound exploration of perspectives, showcasing the compulsive energy that propels travel and discovery, ultimately contemplating the mysterious force behind the creation of each leaf and every new dawn.

Pariat’s elegant prose, masterful control of fiction’s form and ability to integrate images from various contexts have earned her the Sushila Devi Award 2024. The jury, headed by Malashri Lal, unanimously decided that Pariat’s novel stands out as a captivating and deeply impressive work.

“We are thrilled to honor Janice Pariat for her outstanding contribution to literature. Her ability to intertwine diverse experiences and perspectives in ‘Everything the Light Touches’ showcases the power of storytelling to bridge gaps and illuminate the interconnectedness of our world,” said Raghav Chandra.

Next Story
Share it