Dilip D'Souza, the 52-year-old author of "Roadrunner: An Indian Quest in America" (HarperCollins India), has won the Newsweek and The Daily Beast award for South Asian commenatry.
The prize was created for South Asian journalists and writers covering the culture and literature of the region and to celebrate and nurture raw talent and find fresh voices. The aim of this prize is to promote and support the work of an individual who has contributed thoughtful, important, and engaging commentary on the great social, political and cultural issues in their region, Harper Collins-India said in a statement.
The prize carries a purse of $25,000 and a month's residency at the Norman Mailer Writer's Colony in New York.
The Open Hands Initiative is a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving people-to-people understanding and friendship throughout the world through exchanges and other projects that emphasize our basic shared values and common humanity.
It specializes in diplomacy that is by and for ordinary people, emphasizing dialogue and mutual respect between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.
On behalf of the judges, Madhulika Sikka said: "Dilip D'Souza writes with a grace and vibrancy that brings India, in all its glorious contradictions, alive. Dilip combines astute reporting with narratives that transport the reader from the aspirations of India's newest generation of go-getters to a heartbreaking story of the poorest citizens seeking medical treatment or what happens when theworld's most famous cricketer moves in next door. I am looking forward to reading his dispatches for The Daily Beast as I am confident he will open a window into the multifaceted story that is India today."
The writer said: "I am overwhelmed to get the Newsweek & The DailyBeast Open Hands Prize. It is a terrific initiative and when my editor nominated me, naturally I hoped to win. But to actually win it is agreat and yet humbling thrill.
"I used to live in the USA. Twenty years ago I made a choice to return to India and write for a living. It's a move I've never regretted. Writing about issues and themes in India, I often feel, is above all a journey of discovery: to find out for myself what makes my country, and what's my place in it.
Trained in computer science, with two decades of software under his belt, Dilip D'Souza eventually realized writing was his passion. Apart from "Roadrunner...", he has also written "Branded by Law: Looking at India's Denotified Tribes" and "The Narmada Dammed", a monograph of essays on patriotism, and has contributed to several anthologies. He has won a number of awards for his writings.