South Asia Book Awards

On Friday 23 October, the The South Asia National Outreach Consortium (SANOC) presented the South Asia Book Award. This award exists to celebrate and promote those who portray South Asia or South Asians living abroad and to provide parents, librarians and educators with high quality reading material for young people. This year’s award winners certainly meet that criteria. The honor award winners are highlighted here today, tomorrow I’ll be working with Reading While White to feature the award winners themselves.

Vivek Shraya is no stranger to this blog. His book, God Loves Hair, first came to national attention in 2010 as a self published book appearing on the Rainbow Project Booklist. God Loves Hair (Arsenal Pulp Press) is a collection of stories that combines coming of age and sexual awareness in the context of Hindi faith and tradition. Illustrated by Juliana Neufeld. SABA says “Shraya writes with intense honesty and insight about the cutting pain of not only being of a different race and religion, but also discovering that he is gay. Readers will be amazed by the author’s strength and resilience.”

ViveGod-Loves-Hair-150x107k Shraya is a Toronto-based artist working in the media of literature, music, performance, and film. Vivek’s body of work includes ten albums, four short films and three books, which have been used as textbooks at several post-secondary institutions. His debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014. He has read and performed at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions internationally, sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara and Dragonette, and has appeared at NXNE, Word on the Street, and Yale University. Read more about Vivek on his website. (source)

Padma Venkatraman manages to release books when I’m on selection committees and I don’t get the opportunity to review them. SABA Describes A Time to Dance (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin)  as “skillfully told in verse, Veda’s inspirational story reveals an athletic young woman passionate about traditional Indian dance. When she loses a leg in an accident she must fight to determine her identity and future.”

Padma Venkatraman is an award-winning American author who lives in RI. All three of her critically acclaimed novels were released to three or more starred reviews and were Booklist Editor’s Choice Best
Books of the Year and American Library Association Best Books of the Year. Her work has also garnered numerous other awards and honors such as: the South Asia Book Award, the Paterson Prize, the Julia WaATimetoDance-99x150rd Howe Award, ASTAL RI Book of Year, ALA Notable, Kirkus Best Book, CCBC choice, Capitol choice, Bank Street College of Education Best Book, New York Public Library Best Book, Booksense Notable, Indiebound summer selection, Publishers Weekly Flying Start, etc. Dr. Venkatraman enjoys discussing her work with interested audiences and has provided keynote speeches at teacher and librarian conferences, commencement speeches at schools, been the chief guest at international book/author festivals, and has been invited to participate on panels organized by PEN international, the New York Public Library, Harvard University, and other eminent institutions. Read more about Padma on her website.

Please visit the SABA website for a complete list of honor and highly commended books.