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Suketu Mehta mulls book on New York

The Pulitzer-prize nominee says he is "thinking loosely" about basing his new book on the city.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 21:12 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The Pulitzer-prize nominee, Suketu Mehta said he is"thinking loosely" about basing his new book on the city of New York. For best-selling author Suketu Mehta, the Hutch Crossword award he won along with Salman Rushdie and Krishna Sobti this year is "the best of all the awards" he had bagged so far.

"I feel great," said Mumbai-based Mehta, whose Maximum City: Bombay Lost And Found was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize and won a host of other prizes.

"The Hutch Crossword award is the best as it is from my country and my city. That Bombay has taken the book for its own means a lot to me," Mehta told IANS in a telephonic interview.

Judges Urvashi Bhutalia of publishing house Kali For Women and Kai Freise, editor of the Outlook Traveller magazine, handed Mehta the award at a glittering function in Mumbai onTuesday.

While Mehta won the award for non-fiction, Rushdie's Shalimar The Clown won as the year's best fiction and Sobti's The Heart Has Its Reasons in the translated work category.

Sobti, who shares her award money with translators Reema Anand and Meenakshi Swami, said: "It is a good feeling when bhasha (regional language) writers are put at par with English writers."

"Indian writers in English have done so well. But writers in Indian languages are narrating very deeply and sensibly. They are creating a dense intellectual climate. Bhasha writers should be given more prominence and the Hutch Crossword awards are a good beginning," Sobti said.

"I confront, I discover, I define and redefine with the help of language," the Delhi-based Hindi writer added.

For Sobti, who was born on February 18, 1925 in Gujarat (West Punjab, now in Pakistan), the award is also a belated birthday gift.

This year, Crossword also instituted a popular category award for the most favourite book for which readers could SMS their votes. Rahul Bhattacharya's Pundits From Pakistan won in this category.

The awards carry a citation and cash award of Rs300,000 each. Past winners include Amitav Ghosh for The Hungry Tide, Jamyang Norbu for The Mandala Of Sherlock Holmes, Allan Sealy for The Everest Hotel, Vikram Seth for An Equal Music and Bama for Karukku.

Rushdie, who is based in Britain, did not make it to Tuesday's awards function. He had been pitted against VS Naipaul (Magic Seeds) and Rana Dasgupta (Tokyo Cancelled) among others.

First Published: Mar 24, 2006 19:41 IST