Crossword announces the 16th Crossword Book Award jury shortlist

Manu S Pillai, Tripti Lahiri, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Perumal Murugan on 16th Crossword Book Award jury shortlist

  • Crossword announces the 16th Crossword Book Award jury shortlist
  • Crossword announces the 16th Crossword Book Award jury shortlist
  • Crossword announces the 16th Crossword Book Award jury shortlist

In its 16th edition, The Crossword Book Award, India’s first and most prestigious Book Award, recognises and rewards the best of Indian writing and Indian authors. 

Awards are given in the following categories

a. Jury Category comprising best fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and translations.

b. Popular category comprising best fiction, non-fiction, biography, business & management, health & fitness, and children’s writing.

Incepted in 1998, over the years, the awards have been equated to the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, The Pulitzer and The Booker, and are a definitive, veritable platform for Indian Authors. Indian writing in English has been a bridge of sorts, taking the unique nuances of Indian culture to homes across the world.

The very best of Indian writing in English has been honoured with the Crossword Book Award. Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Neel Mukherjee and Kiran Desai, are among past winners of the award; and they have raised the bar for its esteem and reverence.

The shortlist for the jury category was released yesterday. Some of the most distinguished writers of the country such as Upamanyu Chatterjee, Perumal Murugan and Manu Pillai are on the list.

Maulik Desai, Head, Crossword Bookstores says, “The jury shortlist of the Crossword Book Award has traditionally upheld very high standards. The jury sifts through innumerable entries, filtering and perusing and they delve right into the goldmine of ‘Indian writing in English’, in order to curate this list.”

In the past, the Crossword Book Award Jury Shortlist has included luminaries such as Booker-nominated Jeet Thayil, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri among others. William Dalrymple, Arunava Sinha and Vikram Seth are a few past winners of this award.

The 2018 jury shortlist is as follows:


Friend of My Youth by Amit Choudhary, Penguin Random House India

Leila by Prayaag Akbar, Simon & Schuster India

Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan, Penguin Random House

The Book Hunters of Katpadi: A Bibliomystery by Pradeep Sebastian, Hachette India

The Revenge of the Non-Vegetarian by Upamanyu Chatterjee, Speaking Tiger


Maid in India by Tripti Lahiri, Aleph Book Company

Dreamers by Snigdha Poonam, India Viking

The Flavour of Spice by Marryam H Reshii, Hachette India

Rebel Sultans by Manu S Pillai, Juggernaut Books

Daughters of the Sun by Ira Mukhoty, Aleph Book Company


Unbroken by Nandhika Nambi, Duckbill Books

When Morning Comes by Arushi Raina, Duckbill Books

Indira by Devapriya Roy and Priya Kuriyan, Westland Books

Hit for a Six by Payal Dhar, Rupa Publications

What Maya Saw by Shabnam Minwalla, Harper Collins India


Ocean Rimmed World by R.N. Joe D'Cruz, translated by G. Geetha, Oxford University Press

Chinatown Days by Rita Chowdhury, translated by Rita Chowdhury, Pan Macmillan

Jasmine Days by Benyamin, translated by Shahnaz Habib, Juggernaut Books

The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan, translated by N Kalyan Raman, Juggernaut Books

The Unseeing Idol of Light by K.R. Meera, translated by Ministhy S, Penguin Random House India

Many of the awardees, over time, have been discovered by Crossword Book Award itself and they have invariably risen to importance in the world of literature. Over the years, Crossword Book Award winners have grown to command a loyal international following as well. A total of 11 awards will be given on December 20, 2018.

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