Little Magazine SALAM
South Asian Literature Awards for the Masters
New Writing Award
sculpture by K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN
Asia is about to brush aside language and political boundaries,
and have its own literary award for the whole region. The
Little Magazine SALAM (ie South Asian Literature Award for
the Masters) is a lifetime achievement award for literary stalwarts
of South Asia. This is the first and only professionally chosen
honour to treat South Asia as a single cultural region without borders.
Little Magazine, India's only professionally produced independent
publication dedicated to literature, art and social concerns, is
instituting two new awards for literature which may change the way
we look at creativity. These are
The Little Magazine SALAM, and
2. The Little Magazine New Writing Award.
The Little Magazine SALAM (South Asian Literature Award for
pre-eminent figures in contemporary fiction, poetry and drama from
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan will be
honoured by their peers and readers. Unlike international awards
like the Commonwealth Literature prize or the Booker Prize, awards
in India honour writers only within the country. And the Commonwealth
and Booker have their limitations - they consider only literature
in English, which is a small though important segment of the literatures
of their regions. TLM SALAM rectifies both these biases of nationalism
and power language, and pays tribute to pure merit in the literature
of the region.
spills over boundaries. Urdu or Punjabi literature spans India and
Pakistan, Bengali literature straddles India and Bangladesh, Tamil
literature bridges India and Sri Lanka. These Awards will erase
the artificial borders that divide our region and honour literary
greats in an inclusive and responsible way.
from various South Asian language literatures will be honoured in
three categories: Fiction, Poetry and Drama & Other Genres. This
is an attempt to celebrate literature without borders and express
our debt of gratitude to the frontrunners in literature who have
enriched South Asian culture as a whole.
nominations from the 30-odd languages of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh and Nepal came in from TLM's resource people, including
readers, writers, editors and independent publishers. This year's
jury consists of respected South Asian literary figures: U.R.
Ananthamurthy, Gulzar, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Mrinal Pande, K. Satchidanandan,
Selina Hossain (from Bangladesh) and Zaheda Hina (from Pakistan).
award is a personalised composition in bronze for each awardee by
the noted sculptor K.S. Radhakrishnan and is accompanied
by a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each.
year, the awards have gone to the following literary personalities:
Vijay Tendulkar for Drama (Marathi).
Tendulkar was unanimously chosen by the jury.
Kamala Das for Fiction (Malayalam).
Though Das is better known to readers outside Kerala for her poetry
in English, she is celebrated in her home state for her Malayalam
fiction, which she writes under the nom de plume of Madhavikutty.
Shamsur Rahman for Poetry (Bengali).
The unofficial poet of the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, Rahman
is the greatest living poet of his country.
The Little Magazine New Writing Award:
The first award for new writing in any South Asian language, this
aims to encourage emerging talent across the region. While new writers
from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka have been very successful
in the West, in South Asia there is no tradition or method of rewarding
new writers. The Little Magazine New Writing Award introduces the
concept of recognising young writers as part of South Asia's literary
sorted through the several thousand submissions that it has received
over the last six years, and made a shortlist with the help of a
small selection committee consisting of young independent publishers.
This year's final jury for New Writing consists of the eminent authors
Keki Daruwalla, Upamanyu Chatterjee and Lakshmi Kannan.
award is also sculpted by K.S. Radhakrishnan and is accompanied
by a cash prize of Rs 30,000.
year, the award goes to Jayant Sankrityayana,
an automobile designer based in Pune, for a short story in the fantasy
and science fiction genre titled 'Tsunami'. His first published
story, it appeared in The Little Magazine in 2004.
jury's choice for both these awards will be announced on Sunday,
26th March. The Little Magazine Awards ceremony will be conducted
by Girish Karnad at 6:30 pm on Monday, 27th March, at the
Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Awards will be
given away by Amartya Sen, Gulzar and others. The ceremony
is open to the public.
its birth in May 2000, The Little Magazine has focused on
literary excellence in South Asia, bringing translations of quality
fiction, poetry, drama and filmscripts from its various languages
to a wider readership in English. It is also the only regular platform
in the print media for new writers, seeking out new talent among
first time poets, fiction writers and playwrights. These awards,
which publicly recognise achievement in these two areas, are a logical
extension of The Little Magazine's