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Indian writer Thakur wins 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Indian writer Sanjana Thakur has won the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story ‘Aishwarya Rai’, reports the Bookseller.

Thakur was named the overall winner of the prize after having won the prize for the Asia region.

Singaporean short-story writer, screenwriter and novelist O Thiam Chin, the judge representing the Asia region, said the winning story ‘astounds with its hypnotic prose and lyrical magic realism, pulling readers into the compelling story of a young woman’s earnest but fumbling search for an ideal mother’, while Ugandan-British novelist and short-story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, chair of the judges, said Thakur employed ‘brutal irony, sarcasm, cynicism and wry humour packaged in tight prose and stanza-like paragraphs to confront us with the fracturing of family and the self as a result of modern urban existence’.

Said Thakur: ‘I’ve spent ten out of twenty-six years living in countries not my own. India, where I’m from, is simultaneously strange and familiar, accepting and rejecting. Writing stories is a way for me to accept that Mumbai is a city I will long for even when I am in it; it is a way to remake “place” in my mind. I feel that the Commonwealth Short Story Prize offers that chance to all of us: to be a writer who is from ’somewhere’, to write from inside a legacy of colonialism and migration.’

The winner of last year’s prize was Jamaican author Kwame McPherson for his story ‘Ocoee’.


Category: International awards International news