The story of the schooner Ibis and its motley crew of migrants crossing the “kala pani” (forbidden seas) in search of new lives in acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh's “Sea of Poppies” earned another laurel on July 23.
It won the Vodafone-Crossword Boom Awards 2009 in the best English fiction category with writer-reviewer Neel Mukherjee's novel “Past Continuous”.
“Curfewed Nights” by Basharat Pir won the award in the English non-fiction category while Delhi-based writer Ira Pande's novel “T'TA Professor”, the English translation of veteran journalist Shyam Manohar Joshi's novel of the same name, won the award in the category for Indian language fiction translation. The book was originally written in Hindi.
Pallavi Iyer won the Vodafone-Crossword Popular Book Award for her book, “Smoke & Mirrors”.
Sahitya Akademi and Commonwealth prize winning author Nayantara Sahgal was the chief guest at the function.
The panel of judges comprised Usha K.R, Rukmini Bhaya-Nair, Mukund Padmanabhan, Harsh Sethi, Jerry Rao and Jyotirmay Sharma, Arunava Sinha and Rita Kothari.