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Indian author Parashar Kulkarni wins Commonwealth short story prize

Indian author Parashar Kulkarni

London, June 10 (UITV)- Indian author Parashar Kulkarni has become the first Indian author to win 2016 Commonwealth short story prize, beating almost 4000 entries for the 5000 pound award for his short story “Cow and Company”.

Kulkarni, an assistant professor in Social Science in Singapore, was presented the Prize by Man Booker Prize winner and former short story judge Marlon James at the Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica.

The winning story is set in India in the early 1900s and follows four men who are looking for a cow to feature in chewing gum advertisement. “Cow and Company is politically grounded, funny and keeps the reader engrossed as the story twists and turns and shows the connection between culture and commercial interests,” said regional judge Professor Firdous Azim.

“I am very happy to receive the Commonwealth Short Story Prize which provides an inclusive, accessible and international platform for participation which is particularly helpful for new writers,” Kulkarni said in a statement.

Kulkarni, who work at the intersection of religion and political economy, said he was encouraged and has been trying to write for many years. He has previously won the British Academy Brian Barry prize in political science for his research on religion, property rights and violence against women in colonial India.

“In Cows and Company, Parashar has conjure up a large cast and their way of life, and at the same time he has succeeded in exploring serious issues in a way that can make you laugh – and all of this in a few thousand words.” judge Gillian Slovo said.  

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