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Crossword Book Award

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Crossword Book Award
Awarded forAcclaimed and Popular Indian novels written by Indian authors
Sponsored byHutch Essar (2004–2007)
Vodafone (2008–2010)
The Economist (2011–2013)
Raymond Group (2014–present)
Presented byCrossword Bookstores
Hosted byCrossword Bookstores
First awarded1998

The Crossword Book Award (formerly known as the Crossword Book Award (1998–2003), the Hutch Crossword Book Award (2004–07), the Vodafone Crossword Book Award (2008–10), the Economist Crossword Book Award (2011–13), Raymond & Crossword Book Award (2014–present))[1] is an Indian book award hosted by Crossword Bookstores and their sponsors.[2] The Award was instituted in 1998 by Indian book retailer Crossword with the intention of competing with The Booker Prize, Commonwealth Writers' Prize or The Pulitzer Prize.

History and administration[edit]

According to the website of the Crossword Bookstore,

"While several Indian writers have won awards abroad, we had observed that there was no equivalent award in India. We therefore decided to take on the role of encouraging and promoting good Indian writing and instituted the Book Awards, in 1998. It is the only Indian award that not only recognizes and rewards good writing but also actively promotes the authors and their books."[3]

Nominations are on the basis of sales as tracked by Crossword, and the eventual winners are chosen based on a public poll that's partly online and partly real world (voting at Crossword outlets).[4] As of 2018, the awards consist of 300,000 (3 lakh or $3,000) for winners in the jury award category, and 100,000 (1 lakh or $1,500) for winners in the popular choice category.[5]

The award was initially for a single work of fiction by an Indian citizen. In 2000, an additional prize was offered for an Indian writing in any Indian language translated into English. There was no award between 2001–03. Starting in 2004 the award was sponsored by Hutch Essar an Indian telecommunications company and called the Hutch Crossword Book Award.

Starting in 2006 additional categories of a nonfiction prize and a popular award, voted on by the public, were added. Starting in 2008, Hutch Essar was purchased by English telecommunications company Vodafone Group and the award was called Vodafone Crossword Book Award.

Beginning in 2011 through 2013, it was sponsored by The Economist in association with Principal Mutual Funds and Standard Chartered, and renamed the Economist Crossword Book Award.[2] Beginning in 2014, it was sponsored by the Raymond Group.[6]


Previous winners.[2]

Year Category Author Title Refs
1998 English Fiction I. Allan Sealy The Everest Hotel
1999 English Fiction Vikram Seth An Equal Music
Indian Language Fiction Translation M. Mukundan On the Banks of the Mayyazhi
2000 English Fiction Jamyang Norbu The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes
Indian Language Fiction Translation Bama / Translator: Lakshmi Holmström Karukku
2004 English Fiction Amitav Ghosh The Hungry Tide
Indian Language Fiction Translation Chandrasekhar Rath / Translator: Jatindra Kumar Nayak Astride the Wheel (Yantrarudha)
2005 English Fiction Salman Rushdie Shalimar the Clown
English Non Fiction Suketu Mehta Maximum City: Bombay Lost & Found
Indian Language Fiction Translation Krishna Sobti The Heart Has Its Reasons
Popular Award Rahul Bhattacharya Pundits From Pakistan
2006 English Fiction Vikram Chandra Sacred Games
English Non Fiction Vikram Seth Two Lives
Indian Language Fiction Translation Ambai (C. S. Lakshmi) / Translator: Lakshmi Holmström In a Forest, a Deer [7]
M. Mukundan / Translator: Gita Krishnankutty Kesavan's Lamentations
Popular Award Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss
2007 English Fiction Usha K. R. A Girl and a River
English Non Fiction William Dalrymple The Last Mughal
Indian Language Fiction Translation Sankar / Translator: Arunava Sinha Chowringhee
Anand / Translated from Malayalam by Gita Krishnankutty Govardhan's Travels
Popular Award Namita Devidayal The Music Room
2008 English Fiction Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies [8]
Neel Mukherjee Past Continuous
English Non Fiction Basharat Peer Curfewed Night
Indian Language Fiction Translation Manohar Shyam Joshi / Translator: Ira Pande T’TA Professor
Popular Award Pallavi Aiyar Smoke & Mirrors
2009 English Fiction Kalpana Swaminathan Venus Crossing: Twelve Stories of Transit [9]
English Non Fiction Rajni Bakshi Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray Looking East to Look West: Lee Kuan Yew's Mission India
Indian Language Fiction Translation Sarah Joseph / Translator: Valson Thampu Othappu: The Scent of the Other Side
Popular Award Rajni Bakshi Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom
Children's Literature Siddhartha Sarma The Grasshopper's Run
2010 English Fiction Omair Ahmad Jimmy the Terrorist [10][11]
Anjali Joseph Saraswati Park [12]
English Non Fiction VS Ramachandran The Tell-Tale Brain
Indian Language Fiction Translation NS Madhavan / Translator: Rajesh Rajamohan Litanies of Dutch Battery
Popular Award Ashwin Sanghi Chanakya's Chant
Children's Literature Ranjit Lal Faces in the Water
2011 English Non Fiction Anuradha Roy The Folded Earth [13][14][15]
Aman Sethi A Free Man [16]
Indian Language Fiction Translation Anita Agnihotri / Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha 17
Narayan / Translated from Malayalam by Catherine Thankamma The Araya Women [17]
Popular Award Ravi Subramanian The Incredible Banker
Children's Literature No Award
2013 English Fiction Jerry Pinto Em and the Big Hoom [18][19][20]
Janice Pariat Boats on Land
English Non Fiction Ananya Vajpeyi Righteous Republic
Pankaj Mishra From The Ruins Of Empire
Indian Language Fiction Translation Ismat Chugtai / Translated by M Asaduddin A Life In Words
Popular Award Ravi Subramanian The Bankster [21]
Children's Literature Payal Kapadia Wisha Wozzariter
Uma Krishnaswami Book Uncle and Me
2015 English Fiction Anees Salim The Blind Lady’s Descendants [6][22]
English Non Fiction Samanth Subramanian This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War
Indian Language Fiction Translation Sundara Ramaswamy / Translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Holmstrom Children, Women, Men
Popular Award Ravi Subramanian Bankerupt
Kotak Junior Children's Literature Shals Mahajan Timmi in Tangles
2016 English Fiction Amitav Ghosh Flood of Fire [23]
English Non Fiction Akshaya Mukul Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India
Indian Language Fiction Translation Shamsur Rahman Faruqi The Sun That Rose From the Earth
Popular Award Amish Tripathi Scion of Ikshvaku
Kotak Junior Children's Literature Ranjit Lal Nana was a Nutcase
2017 Indian Fiction: Jury Sujit Saraf Harilal and Sons [5][24]
Indian Non Fiction: Jury Josy Joseph A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India [25]
Indian Language Fiction Translation Subhash Chandran / Translated from Malayalam by Fathima EV A Preface to Man
Children's Literature: Jury Anita Nair Muezza and Baby Jaan
Indian Fiction: Popular Durjoy Datta Our Impossible Love
Indian Non Fiction: Popular Sadhguru Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy
Children's Literature: Popular Archita Mishra The Storm Bringer
Business & Management: Popular Shantanu Guha Ray The Target
Biography: Popular Karan Johar and Poonam Saxena An Unsuitable Boy [26]
Health & Fitness Isha Foundation A Taste of Well-Being
2018 Indian Fiction: Jury Prayaag Akbar Leila [27]
Indian Non Fiction: Jury Snigdha Poonam Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing The World [28]
Indian Language Fiction Translation Benyamin / Translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib Jasmine Days
Children's Literature: Jury Nandhika Nambi Unbroken
Indian Fiction: Popular Durjoy Datta The Boy Who Loved
Indian Non Fiction: Popular Sudha Murthy Three Thousand Stitches
Children's Literature: Popular Ruskin Bond Looking For The Rainbow
Business & Management: Popular Chandramouli Venkatesan Catalyst
Biography: Popular Soha Ali Khan The Perils of Being Moderately Famous
Health & Fitness Sanjeev Kapoor, Dr. Sarita Daware You’ve Lost Weight : The Easy Guide To Receiving This Compliment Every Day
Lifetime Achievement Award Shashi Tharoor [29]


  1. ^ Vodafone Crossword Book Award at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ a b c "The Economist Crossword Book Award". Crossword. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  3. ^ "Vodafone Crossword Book Award". Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ Peter Griffin (September 12, 2012). "Of book prizes and short-lists". Forbes India. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Josy Joseph, Sujit Saraf and Karan Johar among the winners of this year's Crossword Book Awards". Scroll.in. January 17, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Raymond Crossword Book Award 2014– Shortlist Announced". India Infoline News Service. April 4, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  7. ^ Doctor, Vikram (March 10, 2007). "Her own language". The Economic Times. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "Amitav Ghosh, Neel Mukherjee win Vodafone-Crossword award" Archived February 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Thaindian News, July 23, 2009
  9. ^ "Mumbaikar brings home fiction award", The Times of India, August 21, 2010
  10. ^ Longlist for Vodafone Crossword Book Award Archived May 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Asia Writes Project, May 8, 2011
  11. ^ "Shortlist 2011". Crossword.in. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  12. ^ "Vodafone Crossword book awards 2010 announced", IBN Live, Sep 3
  13. ^ "The Economist Crossword Award's longlist". CNN-IBN. June 12, 2012. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  14. ^ "The Economist Crossword Book Award 2011 shortlist announced". CNN-IBN. September 21, 2012. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Shruti Dhapola (October 19, 2012). "Anuradha Roy, Aman Sethi win at Economist-Crossword awards". Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  16. ^ "The Hindu's Aman Sethi bags award for A Free Man". The Hindu. Chennai, India. October 19, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  17. ^ Pramod K. Nayar (April 3, 2011). "Cultures in Transformation". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  18. ^ "The Crossword Book Award Enters its 12th Year" (Press release). Crossword. May 8, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  19. ^ "Crossword Book Awards: All the eligible titles". IBN Live. June 26, 2013. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  20. ^ "Crossword Book Award 2013 – Shortlist Announced". IBN Live. November 20, 2013. Archived from the original on November 25, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  21. ^ "'Popular choice' ruled at book awards". Times of India. December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  22. ^ Zafar Anjum (April 29, 2015). "India: Raymond Crossword Book Award 2014 winners announced". kitaab.org. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  23. ^ "Amish Tripathi, Amitav Ghosh, Ruskin Bond, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Twinkle Khanna win big at the 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award". The Hans India. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Raymond Crossword Book Award honours the best of Indian writing and publishing industry". Mumbai Live. January 18, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  25. ^ "From Sujit Saraf to Josy Joesph, Here's Who Swept the 2017 Crossword Book Awards". The Wire. January 19, 2018.
  26. ^ "Crossword book awards: Karan Johar, Sudha Murty, Sadhguru win big!". Rediff. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  27. ^ Scroll Staff (December 20, 2018). "Sudha Murthy, Ruskin Bond, Snigdha Poonam among winners of this year's Crossword Book Awards". Scroll.in. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  28. ^ "Crossword Book Awards: Shashi Tharoor, Snigdha Poonam win honours at 16th edition". Firstpost. December 22, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  29. ^ "Shashi Tharoor, Ruskin Bond, Soha Ali Khan win big at 16th Crossword Book Award". The Asian Age. December 21, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2019.

External links[edit]