Rachna Books shortlisted for JCB award


Song of the Soil, published by Rachna Books and Publications, Gangtok, is among the 10 books shortlisted for the 2022 JCB Prize for Literature.

Originally “Faatsung” in Nepali, this novel was written by Chuden Kabimo, translated into English by Ajit Baral and edited by Anurag Basnet.

One of the most prestigious prizes in contemporary fiction, this year’s selection includes six translations, with Hindi, Urdu and Nepali making the list for the first time, alongside Bengali and Malayalam.

The ten novels were selected by a jury of five judges: AS Panneerselvan, (president), journalist and publisher; Amitabha Bagchi, author; Rakhee Balaram, author and academician; J Devika, translator, historian and academician; and Janice Pariat, author.

The long list also includes two other Northeast novels – “Spirit Nights” by Easternine Kire and “Escaping the Land” by Mamang Dai. These two authors have shared the stage of Rachna Books to share their writings with their readers here in Sikkim.

The award, now in its fifth year, recognizes and rewards contemporary Indian fiction. The award carries the highest prize money in the country. The winning title will be announced on November 19.

Rachna Books has steadily grown as an independent publisher representing voices and stories from the Eastern Himalayas. Previously, Raman Shresta was selected as one of 12 editors (six from India and six from the UK) for the British Council International Publishing Fellowship. This is a one-year program that works on a peer-to-peer mentoring module for learning and networking in the publishing industry.

The long list was chosen from a wide range of submissions from writers from 16 states writing in eight languages, including English, published between August 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022.

Song of the Soil has also been published by FinePrint in Nepal and Belistier Press in the UK.

The award is funded by JCB, the global manufacturer of construction equipment, and administered by the JCB Literature Foundation.

Copies of Song of the Soil can be purchased at www.rachnabooks.com/shop/

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