Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Amitav Ghosh to share $1-million Israeli award with Margaret Atwood

Even as Amitav Ghosh is working on the second volume of the Ibis trilogy (the first volume, Sea of Poppies, won the 2008 Vodafone Crossword Book Award for fiction and was also shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize), his romance with the awards continues. The author of award-winning novels, like The Circle of Reason and The Calcutta Chromosome, has been awarded the $1-million 2010 Dan David Prize for his contribution to modern literature which he will share with Canadian author Margaret Atwood. 

The prize was founded in 2002 by Dan David, an Israeli businessman. It has three categories: Past, Present and Future. The laureates in each category share a $1-million prize. Every year, a different discipline is recognized in each category. The focus each year, however, is on sciences, arts and humanities. Ghosh — and Atwood — are the winners in the present category.

Ghosh garnered much praise from jury members for his fiction which, they said, "is distinguished equally by its precise, beautifully rendered depictions of characters and settings, and by its sweeping sense of history unfolding over generations against the backdrop of the violent dislocations of peoples and regimes during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."Ghosh will recieve the award at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University on May 9.

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