The Kalinga Literary Festival announced the winners of its 2023 book awards across various categories in fiction and nonfiction for adults and children, and business. The winners were awarded a cash prize of Rs 50,000, along with a trophy and citation.

Here are the winning books and authors:


Caste Pride: Battles for Equality in Hindu India, Manoj Mitta.

The jury said about the book, “Manoj Mitta's Caste Pride is one of the most difficult and most authentic history of battles of for equality in Hindu India. Hindu India, which has had hardly any drive to create an equal and egalitarian society, lives under the toxic and hateful hegemony. Manoj Mitta dives deep and try to find out the roots of caste violence in India. This book is not only a historical account of caste violence in India, but also a truthful mirror to identify our our own ugly inhumanness as a society and as a nation.”


This is Salvaged: Stories, Vauhini Vara.

The jury said about the book, “…The real achievement of the book is its crisp, crystalline and resonant language that, with hitherto untried word choices and hidden metaphors, offers to both authorise a simple diction for imaginative writing as well as to redeem it. This is Salvaged is a tremendous work of short fiction, life-sustaining in its penetrating insights into the darkest areas of the psyche, and is, in its liquid and flowing lines, a pure joy to read.”


My Invented Land: New and Selected Poems, Robin S Ngangom.

The jury said about the book, “…Robin Ngangom’s land is isolated and agony of his land is our chosen amnesia. These are incredibly simple poems with unimaginable depth. Robin is a rebel in his chilling silence.”

Debut book

The Day I Became a Runner: A Women’s History of India through the Lens of Sport, Sohini Chattopadhyay.

The jury said about the book, “…The book is written in elegant and invigorating prose, with surprising new coinages and fresh collocations. The language does not excel in the decorative or figurative only; it scores analytically as well so as to make this history of female athletes double as an alternative history of India.”

Children’s fiction

When Fairyland Lost Its Magic, Bijal Vachharajani, illustrated by Rajiv Eipe.

The jury said about the book, “Beautifully illustrated and brilliantly told, this book uses the form of the fairy tale to make children vividly aware of the calamity of climate change looming over the world.”

Translated fiction

A Woman Burnt, Imayam, translated from the Thamizh by GJV Prasad.

The jury said about the book, “The narrative strategies adopted by the author draw one irresistibly into a familiar yet strange world which distorts ordinary human relationships and gives one a glimpse of the abyss yawning beneath the surface of everyday life. The novel has been exquisitely translated by GJV Prasad. His translation deftly captures the distinctive individual voices of different characters.”


Climate Capitalism: Winning the Global Race to Zero Emissions, Akshat Rathi.