Jerry Pinto’s first novel Em and the Big Hoom (2012), which is based on his relationship with his manic-depressive mother, has received the Sahitya Akademi Award 2016. The Mumbai-based writer says he is delighted and feels honoured that his work has been appreciated.
“I am honoured to be selected by the jury for this prestigious award. I am grateful to every reader and hope that the book has served them well,” Pinto said in a telephone interview.
Pinto’s first novel Em and the Big Hoom was published in 2012 which tells the compelling story of an Indian family where the mother suffers from bipolar disorder. The book is largely based on Pinto’s mother and his relationship with her.
“One writes a book with a certain intention in mind which need not be how a reader reads the book. They bring their own personality and life and that is what makes a book so wonderful. You can never predict the response to a book and each reader’s response recreates the book in his or her likeness,” said Pinto.
Along with Pinto, 23 more authors have been named for the award. Nasira Sharma has been selected for her Hindi novel Paarijat, Gita Upadhyay for her novel Janmabhumi Mero Swadesh in Nepali, Kannada novelist Boluwaru Mohammad Kunhi for Swatantryada Ota and Edwin JF D’souza for the Konkani novel Kale Bhangar.
The poets who feature in the list of winners are Jnan Pujari (Assamese), Anju (Bodo), Kamal Vora (Gujarati), Prabha Varma (Malayalam), Sitanath Acharya (Sanskrit), Gobinda Chandra Majhi (Santali), Nand Javeri (Sindhi) and Papini Svasankar (Telugu).
Seven writers awarded for their short stories are Chhatrapal in Dongri language, Shyam Darihare (Maithili), Moirangthem Rajen (Manipuri), Asaram Lomate (Marathi), Paramamita Satpathy (Odia), Bulaki Sharma (Rajasthani) and Vannadhasan (Tamil).
Aziz Hajini (Kashmiri) and Nizam Siddiqui (Urdu) have been recognised for their books criticism; Nrisinghaprasad Bhaduri (Bengali) for his essays and Swaraj Bir Singh (Punjabi) for his 2013 play Maseya di Raat, are also among the winners.
The awards, given for books published during January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2014, will be presented to the authors in Delhi on February 22, 2017. The prize will include a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh.
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