Delhi-based Mridula Koshy’s remarkable collection of short stories If It is Sweet (Westland-Tranquebar) is the winner of the 2009 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. She receives Rs 1 lakh and a trophy which will be presented by author/television anchor Sagarika Ghosh in New Delhi on December 14, 2009 at the British Council.
The other shortlisted titles this year were:
Arzee the Dwarf, Chandrahas Choudhury (HarperCollins); Hotel at the End of the World, Parismita Singh (Penguin); Eunuch Park, Palash Krishna Mehrotra (Penguin); Baulsphere, Mimlu Sen (Random House), and Atlas of Impossible Longing, Anuradha Roy (Picador).
The 2009 panel of judges was novelist Rana Dasgupta, editor Mukund Padmanabhan and writer/film-maker Arshia Sattar. Last year's winner was Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif for A Case of Exploding Mangoes.
The Shakti Bhatt Foundation is a non-profit trust set up by the late writer/editor's family to keep her memory alive. It wishes to reward first-time authors of all ages.