Aslam and Kandasamy make Jhalak prize shortlist

Writers Nadeem Aslam and Meena Kandasamy have made the shortlist of the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year.

The prize, first awarded in March 2017, seeks to celebrate books by British Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority writers and provide an exciting snapshot of the incredible array of writers of colour in Britain today.

The shortlist was decided by an all woman judging panel, consisting of acclaimed author and co-founder of the award, Sunny Singh, YA author Catherine Johnson, novelist Tanya Byrne, multidisciplinary writer and performance maker Vera Chok and travel writer and journalist Noo Saro-Wiwa.

Sunny Singh, chair of judges, said of Aslam’s fifth novel, “The Golden Legend is a beautiful yet painful rumination on our interconnected worlds and lives. Weaving together historical legacies, global politics, individual resilience and power of aesthetics, this luminous novel is one for our times as well as exquisitely timeless.

Judge Vera Chok said of Meena Kandasamy’s second novel, When I Hit You: “Relieved and heartened to encounter this wry, energetic writing. Presented as a portrait, this intelligent piece stands more as a fierce call against complicity.”

The shortlisted books include:

Nadeem Aslam, The Golden Legend (Faber)

Kayo Chingonyi, Kumukanda (Chatto & Windus)

Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I ‘m No Longer Talking to White People About
Race (Bloomsbury Circus)

Xiaolu Guo, Once Upon a Time in the East (Chatto & Windus)

Meena Kandasamy, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife
(Atlantic Books)

Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Island at the End of Everything (Chicken House)

The prize is unique in that it accepts entries published in the UK by writers of colour. These include (and not limited to) fiction, non-fiction, short stories, graphic novels, poetry, children’s books, YA, teen and all other genres. The prize is also open to self-published writers.

Started by authors Sunny Singh, Nikesh Shukla and Media Diversified, with support from The Authors’ Club and funds donated by an anonymous benefactor. The overall winner will be presented with a prize of £1,000 at a reception in central London on March 15, 2018.