Siddharth Shanghvi, Kaveri Nambisan on Man Asian literary prize short list

October 22nd, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Books by two Indian authors - “The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay” by Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi and “The Story That Must Not Be Told” by Kaveri Nambisan - are on the shortlist for the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, it was announced in Hong Kong Wednesday. Other shortlisted books, chosen from a long list of 21, include “Brothers” by Yu Hua, “Ilustrado” by Miguel Syjuco, and “The Music Child” by Alfred A. Yuson, a communiqué issued by Penguin India said.

The “Lost Flamingoes of Bombay” is the long-awaited second novel by Shanghvi, who arrived on the literary scene with his much-acclaimed “The Last Song of Dusk” in 2004.

A beautiful but twisted affair between a married older woman and a young photographer takes centre stage in The “Lost Flamingoes of Bombay”, a sharp and ravishing examination of modern India’s perverse fascination with celebrities, the tension between public morality and private desire, and all the awful things people commit in the name of love.

Shanghvi’s best-selling “The Last Song of Dusk”, won the Betty Trask Award and the Premio Grinzane Cavour. It was also nominated for the IMPAC Prize.

Shanghvi, who lives in Mumbai, has been selected by India Today in their list of “50 Most Powerful Young Indians”, Elle’s “50 Most Stylish”, and the Hindustan Times’ “10 Most Creative People”.

The “Lost Flamingoes of Bombay” will be published by Penguin India in January 2009.

Nambisan’s “The Story That Must not Be Told” is about Simon Jesukumar, an ageing widower who lives in a housing colony in Chennai. He is stirred by his guilt about the slum, optimistically called Sitara (’The Star’), next door.

With the reluctant help of a young journalist and his “surprise” girlfriend, Simon embarks on a journey that ends in an ugly episode with the thugs in the slum.

Nambisan has devoted most of her life working as a surgeon in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. She is the author of several novels like the “Mango Coloured Fish”, “The Scent of Pepper”, “The Hills of Angheri”, “The Truth (Almost) About Bharat”, “On Wings of Butterflies” - all published by Penguin - and several children’s books.

She is married to writer Vijay Nambisan.

The Man Asian Literary Prize is sponsored by the Man Group that sponsors the Booker Prize and the Booker International Prize.

The inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007 was awarded to the bestseller “Wolf Totem” by Chinese writer Jiang Rong (published by Penguin). The winner receives $10,000.

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